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
Last Matchup: 3-2 (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:
- : Offensive inconsistency has plagued this team. It doesn’t help when they get outshot pretty much every night.
- : 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.
- : 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.
- : Is the power play going to continue to be among the league’s worst?
Players to Watch:
- - 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.
- - RW – David Perron: Team’s leading goal scorer (17) and has three goals and five points in the last five games.
- - 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.
- - RW – Corey Perry: Along with scoring goals, Perry has been dishing out some assists lately, he has six in the last five games.
- - Ilya Bryzgalov: 2-4-2, 2.91 GAA, .915 SV%, 1 SO
- - Jonas Hiller: 18-4-4, 2.42 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO (Not Confirmed)
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.
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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