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Preview: Game 63 Oilers @ Ducks

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It's getting rough out there.

Well, no one's angry at Zack Kassian right now.
Well, no one's angry at Zack Kassian right now.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

Anaheim
22-34-6, 50 points, .806 p/g Ranks 32-19-8, 72 points, 1.220 p/g
Pacific Division - 7th Pacific Division - 2nd
30th P/G 9th
18th ST 8th
24th S/G 2nd
28th Goal 3rd
8:00 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Honda Center
The opposing view:  Anaheim Calling

LA Kings 2, Zack Kassian 1

The Oilers led at the end of two periods, which is good!  The Kings are leaders of the Pacific Division, and the Oilers had some serious chance at defeating a Western Conference bully in their house.

Yeah, well.  .

Zack Kassian scored Edmonton's lone goal with a minute and change remaining in the second period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead through 40.  The Kings would respond five minutes into the third period Jeff Carter's fifteenth goal of the year. Dwight King would score his sixth goal of the year ten minutes later, and that would be all that the Kings would need en route to Edmonton's sixth consecutive loss (0-5-1).  Justin Schultz and Teddy Purcell each spent the game in the pressbox, and while the Oilers looked like they had a small fire lit under them for periods during the game, Zack Kassian's goal wasn't enough to earn a win in a tough barn.

The Killing Fields continue tonight as the Oilers visit Anaheim to visit a Ducks team that's primed for the playoffs.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"If they're available to us and ready to play, we'll consider using them tomorrow."

Source

That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on whether or not he'll insert Justin Schultz and / or Teddy Purcell into tonight's lineup.

MY GIRL (GONE GONE GONE)

Purcell and Schultz were healthy scratches in Los Angeles, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they were again curbed for tonight's game.  A third round pick doesn't come for injured players.

The opponents are saying

"You can do too much and confuse the issue on the hockey team when there's chemistry.  It looks like there's chemistry now."   Source

That's Ducks GM Bob Murray on the current makeup of his team.

FLYING HIGH

Anaheim is 20-4-2 since Christmas.  The Oilers have two more wins since the first week in October.  Pretty even matchup, I'd say.

Have some of this

  • TRADE DEADLINE IS A STRESSFUL TIME FOR YOU AND ME - Everybody cool out.  Just go in with a helmet if you read that link.  While this season has gone off the rails (again, for the tenth time in as many years), you've got to believe that if they're going to move a big piece of the first rebuild (or second rebuild, i've lost count on how many friggin' rebuilds this team has undergone) that they're not going to move a piece for a year of Kevin Shattenkirk and T.J. Brodie.  I can't see Chiarelli rushing to make a deal in the next 72 hours unless the return is absolutely perfect.  He's got the next five or six months from Monday to make the deal he feels comfortable to make.
  • Happy Birthday, Gene Principe.  How the Prince of Puns is able to smile for every pregame is beyond me.
  • Zack Kassian scoring Edmonton's only goal last night was a little bit of a surprise.  Kassian replaced Teddy Purcell on the second line and responded with a goal late in the second period.  No one's calling for this guy to be shipped right now.
  • I've got Anders Nilsson (10-12-2, 901 SV% / 3.01 GAA) going for the Oilers tonight on the tail end of a back-to-back.  The Ducks will go with Frederik Andersen (15-8-6, .920 SV% / 2.31 GAA / 1 SO).
  • Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee)  and Oscar Klefbom (leg), are out for the Oilers, The Ducks will be without the services of Chris Stewart (face), Shawn Horcoff (suspended) and Clayton Stoner (hip)