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ANAHEIM DUCKS (17-12-3) at
EDMONTON OILERS (14-14-2)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST (PPV starts at 6:45 p.m.)
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Ducks Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison LINEUP UPDATES: MacTavish did some more line tinkering this morning as he moved Dustin Penner to the second line alongside Horcoff and Erik Cole. Marc Pouliot slipped to the third line with Moreau and Sam Gagner... Liam Reddox replaces Jason Strudwick on the fourth line... Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal.
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
With the theme from Jurassic Park playing in the background, Trevor Linden, his wife and surely thousands of fans, shed a tear as Linden’s number 16 was raised to the rafters of GM place.
Sure, that song can make anyone get misty-eyed, but like those dinosaurs in the movie, Linden was a giant for Canucks over 10 years. But there was a hockey game to play and for the Edmonton Oilers, there was no feel-good afterglow.
One night after their worst lost in 16 years, the Oilers were within a goal of Vancouver near the end of the game but the result was the same as the night before.
Edmonton will try and put the last three games behind them when they face the Anaheim Ducks for the second time this season.
The Oilers and Ducks last played on way back on Oct. 15—Edmonton’s second game of the season, a 3-2 win.
Anaheim is coming into Rexall Place tonight with three straight losses on the road. They’ll be without goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere who recently lost his father. Jonas Hiller will get the start in his stead and David LeNeveu has been recalled from Anaheim’s AHL affiliate to back him up. Hiller went 5-0-0 with a 1.39 GAA and two shutouts in November but has since lost four straight starts this month.
Facing the Ducks might be just what the Oilers need right now to get back to .500 at home and overall. Edmonton has won 14 of the last 16 games versus Anaheim at Rexall place since 1999-00 and four of the last five overall.
Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish may juggle the top three lines if Thursday’s practice is any indication of things to come. Shawn Horcoff skated with Erik Cole and Marc Pouliot, Robert Nilsson was with Andrew Cogliano and Ales Hemsky while Sam Gagner centred Dustin Penner and Ethan Moreau.
The Oilers will play three of the next five games at Rexall Place. They’ll next take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.
Just The Facts...
Bob Stauffer and Rob Brown discuss tonight's game Pre-game comments from Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner & Craig MacTavish Pre-game comments from Chris Pronger, Ryan Getzlaf & Randy Carlyle Pre-Game Audio... Shawn Horcoff Dustin Penner Craig MacTavish The Other Side: Chris Pronger & Ryan Getzlaf Thursday's Video: Watch comments from Ethan Moreau, Erik Cole, Shawn Horcoff and Craig MacTavish. Friday's Audio: Craig MacTavish
Shirts off our Backs tonight at Rexall Place - A special reminder for those fans in attendance at Rexall Place, that tonight the Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks for the annual "Shirts Off Our Backs Night." 23 autographed jerseys will be raffled off by the Oilers Ladies. ...more
The Other Side
Road for the Holidays - The Ducks travel through Western Canada for a three-game swing, where they will face the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. Here is a closer look at the trip. ...more On the Road Again - The Ducks embarked Thursday morning on a trip to Western Canada that will see them play three big games at Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary. ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
Ladislav Smid - On-Location Reporter - In today's episode of The Link, Ladislav Smid gets behind the microphone to speak to a couple of his Oilers teammates about their favourite Christmas memories. ...more This or That? With Marc Pouliot - Things aren't always black and white, but we made Marc Pouliot choose Option A or Option B on a variety of topics, including breakfast cereals, toast toppings, and pre- or post-Santa holidays. Click to check out his answers. ...more One-on-one with Gary Bettman - In today's episode of The Link, Gene Principe sits down with Gary Bettman to talk about the past, present and future of the Edmonton Oilers as well as the future of the National Hockey League. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
After going more than five weeks without a regulation road loss earlier this season, the Ducks are still seeking their first point away from Anaheim this month. It may not get any easier as they open a five-game road trip without starting goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere in a city where they've had little success lately.
The Ducks look to avoid their fourth straight road loss on Friday when they meet the Edmonton Oilers.
Anaheim (17-12-3) opened the season losing its first two road games, but quickly turned things around to go 7-0-1 in its next eight away from the Honda Center. The Ducks have been unable to carry that success into December however, getting outscored 8-3 in losing their three road games this month.
Anaheim has been relying on its home ice lately, but a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday snapped a five-game home winning streak.
Turnovers by Anaheim defensemen Kent Huskins and Scott Niedermayer inside the Ducks zone led to two of the Rangers' scores.
"Turnovers are killing us right now," Chris Pronger told the team's official Web site. "It kills our momentum and our speed through the neutral zone. We've got to get through neutral zone better and cleaner, so that we can get in on the forecheck and get turnovers ourselves."
Ducks backup Jonas Hiller made 27 saves on Tuesday in place of Giguere, whose father, Claude, died in Canada on Monday. Giguere is attending his father's funeral, but is expected to be back for Monday's game in Vancouver.
Hiller has not had much luck lately, posting a 2.46 goals-against average in losing all four of his starts this month after going 5-0-0 with a 1.39 GAA and two shutouts in seven games in November.
Hiller made his first start of the season versus Edmonton on Oct. 15, and finished with 25 saves in a 3-2 loss.
The Ducks have lost four of their last five overall games against the Oilers, and have dropped 14 of 16 games in Edmonton since 1999-2000.
The Oilers, though, haven't been a very good home team lately, winning only two of their last nine games (2-5-2) at Rexall Place, including an embarrassing 9-2 loss to Chicago on Tuesday. That was followed by a 4-2 defeat at Vancouver on Wednesday.
Wednesday's game was lost in the second period, when the Canucks scored three times - twice on the power play - and outshot Oilers 13-4.
Edmonton's penalty killing has been a problem all season, ranking second-to-last in the league (73.5 percent). The Oilers have not had much success on the power play either, going 2-for-20 in their last four games.
"We have to get our specialty teams to an elite level to get the success we want around here," defenseman Steve Staios said. "That's just too important, and we aren't anywhere close to where we need to be, especially on the penalty kill."
Dwayne Roloson stopped 24 shots Wednesday, and has yielded seven goals in his last two games after posting a 1.32 GAA in winning his previous three.
Mathieu Garon hasn't been any better lately, going 2-7-0 with a 3.90 GAA since Oct. 23, but has had success against Anaheim. He is 4-1-0 with a 1.40 GAA and one shutout in his last five games against the Ducks, including a 33-save performance at the Honda Center on Oct. 15.