January 2, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) is scored on by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8, not pictured) during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks defeated the Oilers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Ducks Hoping to Continue Recent Success Over Oilers Tonight

The Edmonton Oilers are back in town tonight as they finish up a a short three-game road-trip. The Anaheim Ducks are coming off of a win over the rival San Jose Sharks and will look to win their fifth straight against Edmonton.

Season Series: 1-0 team.teamCommonName

Last Matchup: 3-2 team.teamCommonName (Dec. 15th, 2013)

Dustin Penner scored the game-winner against his former team with under four minutes left in the game back in mid-December. The Oilers stormed out in the first period, nearly doubling the Ducks in shots but were only to beat Jonas Hiller once via Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Ducks tied it in the first with a goal from Nick Bonino and then took the lead in the second with a goal from Teemu Selanne. The Oilers tied it halfway through the third with a goal from Sam Gagner, but then Pancakes notched the game-winner late in the period.

Keys to the Game:

  • team.teamCommonName: Offensive inconsistency has plagued this team. It doesn’t help when they get outshot pretty much every night.
  • team.teamCommonName: Top line of a Taylor Hall-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-David Perron were benched during the second period of their most recent game. They will most likely come out hot.
  • team.teamCommonName: Ducks are sitting pretty at the top of the league with a bunch of home games left on the schedule, avoid a letdown against a team they’ve won four straight against.
  • team.teamCommonName: Is the power play going to continue to be among the league’s worst?

Players to Watch:

  • team.teamCommonName – LW – Taylor Hall: He’s the best of the young forwards for the Oilers in my opinion and he has five points in the last three games.
  • team.teamCommonName – RW – David Perron: Team’s leading goal scorer (17) and has three goals and five points in the last five games.
  • team.teamCommonName – C – Saku Koivu: Seems he has been rejuvenated since coming back from injury. He has three goals and six points in the last three games.
  • team.teamCommonName – RW – Corey Perry: Along with scoring goals, Perry has been dishing out some assists lately, he has six in the last five games.

Starting Goalies:

  • team.teamCommonName – Ilya Bryzgalov: 2-4-2, 2.91 GAA, .915 SV%, 1 SO
  • team.teamCommonName – Jonas Hiller: 18-4-4, 2.42 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO (Not Confirmed)

January 2, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins works on a white board during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks defeated the Oilers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers live off of their top line of Hall-RNH-Perron. They were not putting forth a good effort last night against the Sharks and head coach Dallas Eakins benched them for a period of time in the second period. There’s no question how much young talent the Oilers have, but they are still not a good team. All of their #1 overall picks have not lead to a turnaround yet. The defense still isn’t all that great. However, Andrew Ference has been a huge upgrade. The goaltending has changed with recent signing of Ilya Bryzgalov, but like the last few years he’s a bit erratic in net. I’m expecting a fiery Oilers team tonight at the start. However, with tonight being the back end of a back-to-back and the last game on a short road-trip, I don’t think the Oilers will last. The Ducks are just playing way too well to lose this game. That being said, it seems like a nice little trap game for the Oilers to come in here and end the Ducks’ winning streak over them. Will that happen? I don’t think so, but any team can win any game on any given night.

Team Stats:

team.teamCommonName Stats team.teamCommonName
42 GP 43
29 W 13
8 L 25
5 OT 5
63 P 31
0.750 P% 0.360
3.21 G/G 2.51
2.43 GA/G 3.40
14.9 PP% 17.4
80.6 PK% 80.7
32.0 S/G 27.7
27.9 SA/G 31.6
48.8 FO% 49.0

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Andrew Ference Corey Perry Dallas Eakins David Perron Dustin Penner Edmonton Oilers Ilya Bryzgalov Jonas Hiller NHL Nick Bonino Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Saku Koivu Sam Gagner San Jose Sharks Taylor Hall Teemu Selanne

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