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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks

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Oilers look to pick up two more points with some new faces in the lineup

Montreal Canadiens v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (33-22-7) 3rd, Pacific vs

Anaheim Ducks (24-30-8) 7th Pacific

25 February 2020

Honda Center

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Anaheim Calling

DOUBLE DOWN

The Oilers picked up two valuable points in the chase for the Pacific Division crown on Sunday night. Leon Draisaitl scored a goal, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had one too. Connor McDavid would score the eventual game winner in his return from injury, and Josh Archibald would pot an empty netter to give the Oilers a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Mike Smith stopped 21 of 23 shots to pick up the W, and the Oilers will take a win on the West Coast.

The Oilers are in Anaheim tonight, and they’ve got some new faces after trade deadline. Can some of the new guys help contribute to a win tonight against Dallas Eakins and the Ducks?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Top players make other players around them better. Sometimes it’s the players that they’re playing with, sometimes it’s just the aura of being a good team and you play confident when you have good players. That’s what he brings.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett after his club’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.

Agree with the coach here, good things usually happen when you bring the game’s best player back into the fold. McDavid’s goal would be the eventual game winner, he has 31 goals and 84 points on the season.

THE DUCKS ARE SAYING

“We’re not really a team that plays a shootout style, but it turned into that tonight. We weren’t on the right side of it, but it was still a good comeback in the third.”

Source

That’s Ducks forward Nick Ritchie on his club’s 6-5 loss to the Golden Knights in OT.

Ritchie had a four point effort (2-2-4) in his club’s OT loss to Vegas. The Ducks scored twice in the last three minutes of regulation, but couldn’t push the boulder over the hill.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • THE NEW GUYS: Ken Holland had a nearly flawless trade deadline, moreso if you can forget the late trade of Joel Persson to Anaheim for a goalie. Andreas Athanasiou for a couple of second round picks and Sam Gagner? Check. Acquiring Mike Green for Kyle Brodziak and a conditional pick? Check. Tyler Ennis from Ottawa for a fifth rounder in 2021? Check, check, check. Athanasiou and Ennis give the Oilers some good immediate options to play wing. Green comes as insurance, and goaltender Angus Redmond has put up a .918 with Newfoundland of the ECHL. A solid day on a day that I had a lot of questions.
  • TWO MORE TO GO: Leon Draisaitl is two points away (36-62-98) from 100 on the season. Someone should bake him a cake when it happens.
  • THE 29 LINE: Not sure if I can call it “the second line” anymore, but the line of 93-29-56 is still making it happen out there. Kailer Yamamoto is still churning along at a point per game, Leon’s got two more points to join the century club, and RNH is 3-4-7 in his last five games. That’s pretty good, right?
  • STRUGGLING DUCKS: The Ducks biggest problem? No goals. They rank third worst in the league when it comes to scoring (2.52) ahead of only LA and Detroit. They don’t have a line that puts fear into me, so keep a steady eye out for Rickard Rakell (13-22-35) and Ryan Getzlaf (12-26-38).
  • NET GAINS: I’ve got Mike Smith tonight (17-10-5, 1 SO, .905 SV%/ 2.87 GAA) and Mikko Koskinen tomorrow night in Vegas. Look for Jon Gibson for the Ducks (17-24-5, 1 SO, .903 SV% / 3.01 GAA).
  • SICK BAY: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Joakim Nygard (hand), James Neal (foot) and Zack Kassian (suspension) are out for the Oilers. Kris Russell (concussion) has been placed on LTIR. For the Ducks, defencemen Erik Gudbranson (upper body) and Cam Fowler (lower body) are day-to-day.