The San Jose Sharks lost to the Nashville Predators last night, giving the Anaheim Ducks a chance to extend their lead in the Pacific Division.
The St. Louis Blues fell to the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday afternoon, leaving the door open for Anaheim to crawl back into the race for first place in the Western Conference.
Despite the glorious prospect of making both of those dreams true, the Ducks couldn’t make it happen as their first of back-to-back games ends with a defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
The Oilers (28-42-9) trailed 1-0 heading into the second period before scoring three unanswered goals. Taylor Hall put the Oilers on the board with his 27th on the season after his shot slid through Jonas Hiller‘s pads.
Jordan Eberle scored an empty-net goal to ice the game for Edmonton.
Anaheim came into the contest looking for a faster start and it got just that. Jakob Silfverberg potted his ninth of the season after his point-blank shot deflected off a defender past former Duck Viktor Fasth.
After falling behind 3-1, Corey Perry cut the deficit to one after he deflected a Ryan Getzlaf shot from the point into the back of the net. However, the Ducks couldn’t find the tying goal despite a dominating third period.
Anaheim mounted plenty of pressure in the Edmonton zone and out-shot the Oilers 12-10 in the final frame, but Fasth stood up to the challenge.
Fasth was stellar in goal, making 34 saves for the Oilers.
With rookie goalie Frederik Andersen staying home after being hit in the mask by a slap shot Friday night, Hiller got the start in net. The Swiss goaltender has struggled as of late, which has brought upon doubts of his No. 1 status heading into the postseason.
Hiller stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced.
Along with Andersen not making the trip, Tim Jackman was diagnosed with a broken hand following the game against Nashville. As a result of the injuries, the Ducks recalled forward Devante Smith-Pelly and goalie John Gibson for the road trip.
Pelly finished the game with 10:14 minutes of ice time and a -1 +/-.
With Hiller in net for the first game of back-to-back matchups, Gibson could see his first career start tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks.
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