Oilers-Ducks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 04, 2012
With their playoff hopes fading fast, a game against the Edmonton Oilers might be just what the Anaheim Ducks need. The Ducks try to continue their dominance over the lowly Oilers when they meet Monday night at Honda Center. Anaheim (28-28-10) has dropped three of four and is seven points out of playoff position with 16 games remaining. The Ducks squandered a chance to gain ground on one of the teams they're chasing Saturday, falling 4-2 to Los Angeles. "The odds haven't been in our favor since Christmas,'' captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "But there's no doubt in here that we can still make this thing happen. Our group has never stopped believing this whole time, and we're not going to now." The Ducks, 10-2-1 in their last 13 at home, certainly have reason to believe they can pick up two points against the Oilers, owners of the league's worst road record at 9-20-2. Anaheim won the first meeting 5-0 in Edmonton on Jan. 13 behind two goals from Corey Perry. The Ducks have outscored the Oilers 15-4 in taking the last four in the series since a 4-2 loss Nov. 21, 2010, their lone defeat in the last 10 matchups. Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne and Jonas Hiller have been instrumental in that success. Getzlaf had four assists in the January meeting and has four goals and 12 assists in his last eight versus Edmonton. Selanne had a goal and an assist against the Oilers two months ago, extending his point streak against them to seven games (six goals, six assists). The 41-year-old, who has a team-high 57 points, had an assist Saturday and needs one point to tie childhood idol Jari Kurri for 19th on the all-time list with 1,398. While Getzlaf and Selanne have powered the offense, Hiller, who has started 25 consecutive games for Anaheim, has been stellar between the pipes. He stopped 33 shots in the January game for his second consecutive shutout of the Oilers, and he's gone 8-1-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average in his last 11 games in the series. While the Ducks are clinging to playoff hopes, Edmonton (25-33-6) is out of the picture, 17 points out of eighth place in the Western Conference. The Oilers, 3-5-1 in their last nine, are coming off a 3-1 loss to Dallas on Friday. Nikolai Khabibulin returned after missing five games with a groin injury and stopped 12 of 14 shots, while Sam Gagner reached the 15-goal mark for a third straight season. Gagner had a career-best 16 goals in 2008-09. Edmonton has the league's top-ranked power play at 21.7 percent, but didn't have a single chance with the man advantage Friday and has had just five power-play chances in its last four games. Coach Tom Renney thinks his team may get more opportunities if players stop whining about potential infractions. "One thing we have to do is quit (complaining) about it on the ice,'' he said. "You don't endear yourself to anybody. If you show professionalism, maybe you will get the call. After a while, I don't care who the referees are, they are going to say, 'Forget it.' We have to consider that.'' Facing the Ducks could also help the Oilers get a few more calls. Anaheim is one of the league's most penalized teams and coach Bruce Boudreau complained at length following Saturday's loss about the officials putting his team in short-handed situations for what he deemed were bad calls.
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