Ducks upend Oilers, clinch Pacific

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 23, 2013
Viktor Fasth made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the Anaheim Ducks clinched the Pacific Division title with a 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. Ryan Getzlaf, Radek Dvorak and Sami Vatanen scored for the Ducks, who won back-to-back games in Edmonton to capture their first division title since 2007 - the year they went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Oilers have lost eight of their last nine games and seem destined for yet another high draft pick in the offseason. Anaheim started the scoring six minutes in on the power play when Getzlaf picked the puck out of a scramble out front and calmly slipped his 15th of the season past Oilers starter Nikolai Khabibulin. Emerson Etem put the Ducks up 2-0 at 11:48, sending a beautiful no-look backhand pass to Dvorak for an easy tap-in. The only good chance in a listless and scoreless second period belonged to the Ducks, as Kyle Palmieri was alone in tight but stoned on a quick glove save by Khabibulin with two minutes remaining. The shots were 18-16 in Anaheim's favor after 40 minutes. The Ducks took a three-goal lead four minutes into the third frame as Vatanen sent a long shot through traffic that found the top corner of the net. Next up for the Oilers is a home date against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. The Ducks finish off a four-game road trip in Vancouver on Thursday. Notes: The Ducks officially eliminated the Oilers from playoff contention on Sunday, making them the team with the longest active postseason drought, having missed the playoffs for the last seven seasons dating to their Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final against Carolina in 2006. ... Oilers C Eric Belanger made his return from a groin injury to play his first game since missing the last 13 contests. He took the place of Magnus Paajarvi, who was nursing a foot injury. ... Also out for the Oilers were three players presumably gone for the remainder of the season - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), Ales Hemsky (foot) and Lennart Petrell (leg). ... Significant absences from the Anaheim lineup included Ds Luca Sbisa (lower body) and Sheldon Souray (lower body), who missed his second straight game against his former team. Ducks F Bobby Ryan was a late scratch with an illness.
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