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Preview: First Place on the Line Tonight in Edmonton

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

EDMONTON - The Ducks (42-23-12, 96 points) take on the Edmonton Oilers (43-25-9, 95 points) in a battle for first place tonight at Rogers Place (7 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/710 KSPN). The Ducks, who have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a franchise-record fifth consecutive season, are riding a season-high nine-game point streak (7-0-2, 16 points) and currently sit atop the Pacific Division. The Oilers, meanwhile, enter tonight's game with a four-game winning streak and an 8-1-0 record over their last nine games.

Anaheim comes into this pivotal matchup with a 9-1-2 record over its last 12 games and a 10-2-2 mark dating to the end of its bye week on March 3, which ranks tied for second among NHL teams in wins and third in points (22).

Tonight's contest is the finale of an entertaining five-game season series between the two clubs that has seen the Ducks go 2-1-1 against the Oilers, including a 4-1 win on November 15 and a 4-3 victory on March 22 at Honda Center. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the Ducks have gone 26-4-3 vs. the Oilers with points in 20 of the last 22 games (17-2-3). The Ducks, who are playing their 50th game in Edmonton tonight, are 55-36-9 all-time vs. the Oilers. In Alberta's capital, Anaheim owns a six-game point streak (5-0-1, 11 points) along with points in 18 of the last 19 games (16-1-2, 34 points). All-time, Anaheim has posted a 25-19-5 record in Edmonton. Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in 2016-17 season scoring (six points, all assists) and all-time scoring (46 points, 16g/30a) vs. the Oilers. Split between the Ducks and Stars this season, Patrick Eaves has three goals and four points in three games against Edmonton.

The Ducks will look to rebound after a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Anaheim's season-high five-game winning streak was snapped that night, which featured two unanswered goals for Winnipeg in the third period, including the game-tying marker with 12 seconds remaining.

We will see which goaltender head coach Randy Carlyle summons tonight, with this being the opener of the club's 14th (and final) back-to-back set this season. (The Ducks take on the Calgary Flames tomorrow night at Scotiabank Saddledome). Jonathan Bernier has made nine consecutive starts in place of John Gibson and has posted a 10-1-2 record with one shutout, a 1.82 GAA and .941 SV% in 13 starts since March 3. Gibson, though, appears to be ready, having backed up Bernier through the first two games of this road trip. Gibson's last appearance came on March 10 at St. Louis.

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