EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -Scott Niedermayer has given the Anaheim Ducks a huge lift since he decided to play this season and not retire.
The Ducks (19-15-5) are 4-0-1 since Niedermayer returned. The playoff MVP had been contemplating retirement.
"We're playing much better than we were at the beginning of the season," Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "I think we finally have our game together and have figured out what we need to win. Having Scott back really helps and you add a guy like Doug Weight and that makes for a strong team. We needed to get our game back if we wanted to be part of the playoffs and be successful again."
"Obviously since Dougie came over and Scotty came back it's been really good," said Ducks captain Chris Pronger. "The distraction of what Scotty was going to do and what he wasn't going to do isn't there any more. Having a guy like that back and then adding Dougie for that second line as well, it certainly gave us a center who has been able to produce all throughout his career."
The Oilers (16-19-3) suffered their fourth straight loss. Edmonton has struggled at home this season, going 8-11-1 at Rexall Place.
|Doug Weight celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)|
"It's the thing that is keeping us out of the mix right now," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "Our inability to have success at home."
The best chance in a scoreless first period came just four minutes in when Fernando Pisani rang a short-handed shot off the crossbar behind Ducks starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Anaheim had eight shots on Garon to four from the Oilers in the opening period.
Reasoner made it 1-0 at 4:32 of the second period when he tipped a point shot from defenseman Tom Gilbert past Giguere.
Anaheim evened it about eight minutes later as Todd Bertuzzi took the puck behind the goal-line and made a great feed to Perry in the crease. It was Perry's 20th goal of the season.
The Ducks led 15-11 on the shot clock after the second period.
Both teams return to the ice on Saturday as the Oilers visit Minnesota and the Ducks journey to Calgary.
Notes: Oilers forward Ales Hemsky missed the game with a knee injury. An MRI was taken on Hemsky's left knee on Thursday and he is day-to-day. ... Oilers captain Ethan Moreau (bruised foot) skated with the team Thursday and says he will be ready to go on Saturday. The forward has suffered a string of injuries that have kept him out of the lineup since Oct. 2006. ... Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson did not make the three-game post-break trip with the team, suffering from an abdominal strain. ... Edmonton took three of four meetings from the Ducks this year.