By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(26-19-10) return home to face the Edmonton Oilers (23-25-4). The Ducks are 0-0-1 against the Oilers this season. The game starts at 7:00 PM PT and will be on Prime Ticket locally and AM 830.
The Ducks return home after a roller coaster of a road trip that saw them go 2-2-1. The Ducks went 1-1-0 against likely playoff-bound Boston and Toronto. However, against three of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, Anaheim was 1-1-1, with their only win coming in overtime. It appears that John Gibson will start tonight as he was taken off the IR list. It also looks like Antoine Vermette will be in after being a healthy scratch against Buffalo.
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Keys To The Game
Some concerns for the Ducks lately have centered around bad turnovers and a lack of discipline, which has resulted in too many power plays for their opponents. The Ducks have two big games against Pacific opponents starting with the Oilers tonight and then the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. If the Ducks want to make a push for the playoffs they need win these games in regulation and it starts with better defensive play and discipline.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup:
The Oilers find themselves looking from the outside in regarding the playoff picture. At 50 points, they are 14 points out of third place in the Pacific Division and the second Wild Card spot in the Pacific Conference. Connor McDavid still leads the way with 22 goals. The Oilers will be without their second-leading scorer, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as he is on the IR with crack ribs.
Keys To The Game
The Oilers can score, but like Anaheim, they have been giving up too many goals against lately. Edmonton is 10-3-0 against their division opponents, so if they can get off to a good start tonight and play decent defensively, then they could earn two points.
Edmonton’s Projected Lineup:
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February 9th, 2018