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Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks Game Preview

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Oilers gotta win ‘em all.

Anaheim Ducks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks in total points with 45.
Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (23-25-3) (6th, Pacific)

Anaheim Ducks (26-19-10) 5th, Pacific)

8:00 PM MDT

Honda Center

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Anaheim Calling

BREAKDOWN

Down 2-0 to the Kings, Edmonton made a game of it on Wednesday night. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each had a goal, and the Oilers took a 2-2 tie into the dressing room after 40 minutes. It would be LA’s Paul LaDue who would snap the tie with a power play tally later on in the third period. LA would add two more goals to pad their victory by a 5-2 margin.

Oilers are in Anaheim to try and reverse their fortunes on a California road trip.

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“We get that question all the time and we don’t know what it is. Sometimes we’re great off the hop and sometimes we’re a little bit sluggish”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Connor McDavid on the team’s poor starts.

It’s no small feat that the Oilers were able to catch the Kings after being down 2-0. LA’s second ranked defence and first ranked power play tend not to concede too much. A disallowed goal and a third period to forget and Paul LaDue scoring to make it 3-2 and here we are.

The Ducks are saying

“It was getting long and this month is going to be long so we need the points where we can get them. That gets us back to half the points we could get on the trip. It’s tough in the West and the East to make up ground so we’re happy to break even when we put ourselves in the hole a little bit, but we’ll have to start climbing here pretty soon.”

Source

That’s Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller after picking up a 4-3 OT victory in Buffalo.

Anaheim is one of those wild-card bubble teams that desperately needed a victory. Can the Oilers throw a wrench in their plans?

Have some of this

  • ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER McDAVID GOAL: This one tied it up on Wednesday night. McDavid walks Drew Doughty like Doughty is a fat basset hound relieving himself in a flower garden. You will get far less pleasure from many things today after seeing this goal.
  • POWER PLAYS: Leon Draisaitl scored one on the power play against the Kings. That’s good, because Edmonton needs all the special teams love they can get. That power play goal puts their PP% at (checks numbers) 30th overall. You’ll never catch us, Columbus.
  • BUBBLE TEAM: Like the Kings before they played the Oilers, Anaheim is another wild-card bubble team. The Wild hold the final wild-card spot at 64 points, the Ducks are hovering around there with 62. The Oilers could cause some indigestion by taking two points out of Anaheim today. Nobody likes the Ducks anyways.
  • Quick, who’s leading the Ducks in points? It’s Rickard Rakell, of course. Rakell’s 45 points (22-23-45) in 50 games is tops in Anaheim.
  • The Ducks are 23rd overall in goals scored per game (2.76), they’re right in the middle at 14th overall in goals allowed (2.80). They’re 22nd overall in power play percentage (18.3), and they’re right in the middle at 16th in PK (80.8%).
  • NET GAINS: Cam Talbot is the likely starter for the Oilers (19-18-2, .902 SV% / 3.10 GAA / 1 SO) Expect Ryan Miller (7-4-5, .915 SV% / 2.69 GAA / 2 SO) to start tonight for John Gibson, who is on the IR. John Gibson is back tonight!
  • SICK BAY: Edmonton is without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (ribs) and Adam Larsson (personal). The Ducks without Patrick Eaves (lower body)