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GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (42-25-12) at Edmonton Oilers (39-28-13).
TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EDT.
The Edmonton Oilers continue their push for the Western Conference's final playoff spot when they host an Anaheim Mighty Ducks team they've beaten 11 straight times at home.
The Oilers have lost three of their last four games, including a 2-0 defeat at Detroit on Tuesday, and need to turn things around with just two games remaining to avoid missing the postseason for the second straight season.
"You can't dwell on it now," said Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, whose team is battling with Vancouver for the eighth playoff spot. "We've got two games left. We just dug ourselves a deeper hole and we've got to dig out of it."
To do that, Edmonton will need to bolster its offense, which has scored one goal over the last two games. The Oilers, though, have scored 16 goals in three contests against Anaheim this season.
Edmonton needs one more victory to reach 40 for the first time since 1987-88, when it won its fourth Stanley Cup in five seasons. The Oilers have lost just twice in their last 18 meetings with the Ducks, recording 15 wins and a tie.
Anaheim lost 3-0 to Calgary on Tuesday for just its fourth defeat in the last 18 games. Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves, but the Ducks couldn't solve Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who recorded his NHL-leading ninth shutout of the season.
"Whenever you get shut out, there's always more you could have done," Ducks forward Joffrey Lupul said. "However, although we did have some great chances that we didn't convert, you have to tip your hat your hat to Kiprusoff, he played well."
Anaheim is in fifth place in the West and trails fourth-place Nashville by four points in the battle for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Ducks, who are playing the fourth of a five-game road trip, will travel to San Jose before finishing the season at home against Calgary.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 96 points, 2nd place, 13 PB, Pacific Division. Oilers - 91 points, 3rd place, 9 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 39 goals and 88 points; Selanne, Andy McDonald and Scott Niedermayer, 49 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 174 PIM. Oilers - Smyth, 36 goals; Ales Hemsky, 58 assists and 76 points; Jaroslav Spacek, 96 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 18.2 percent (83 for 456), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.7 percent (410 for 490), 13th. Oilers - Power play: 18.4 percent (88 for 477), 11th. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (396 for 472), 10th.
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 6; Oilers, 6-5 (SO). At Edmonton, Alberta, Fernando Pisani scored the shootout winner and had a goal and an assist in regulation to lead the Oilers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 17-15-7 on the road; Oilers - 18-15-6 at home.
|Apr 13 '06||ANA 1 at EDM 2||A. Hemsky|
|Feb 06 '06||ANA 5 at EDM 6 - SO||F. Pisani|
|Jan 25 '06||EDM 6 at ANA 3||C. Pronger|
|Oct 10 '05||EDM 4 at ANA 2||R. Dvorak|