By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(7-6-3) return home to face the first-place Edmonton Oilers(9-6-1). Anaheim was 4-0-1 against Edmonton last season. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. Tonight’s game will be at 7 PM PT.
The Ducks completed a three-game road trip going 1-1-1. Anaheim rallied from a 2-0 deficit in Columbus to force overtime, earning one point. In Carolina, the Ducks jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on to win 4-2. In Nashville, nothing went right and the Ducks were blanked 5-0 by the Predators. Anaheim finds themselves in third place in the Pacific Division, just two points behind the division-leading Oilers.
Tonight the Ducks have a big opportunity to pull even with the Oilers if they can earn a regulation win. Anaheim has been inconsistent with their play, which has been due to several factors. The Ducks tend to give up consecutive goals in short periods of time, which was evident in the big losses to Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. Anaheim also needs help with secondary scoring. The Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler lines have accounted for 24 goals so far this season. The remaining forwards have only produced eight goals. In addition to improving their play, the Ducks will look to slow down the Connor McDavid line tonight.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
The Oilers got off to a great start this season going 9-3-1, only losing three games in regulation in their first 13 contests. Recently, however, they have lost their last three in a row. The Oilers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars, and New York Rangers. Their losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas were only by one goal.
Former Duck Patrick Maroon leads the team in goals scored with six. He has registered points in his past three games (2G, 2A), and in five of his past six games (3G, 3A). Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Pitlick, and Milan Lucic are all tied for second in goals scored with five. The Oilers average 31 shots on net per game but also give up 30.5 shots against. This could be a high-speed affair, with each team trying to pepper the opponent’s goalie.
Cam Talbot (Probable)
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