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5 Keys: Ducks at Oilers, Game 4

Corey Perry could play on top line for Anaheim; Edmonton needs to improve on faceoffs

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent


10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports

Edmonton leads best-of-7 series 2-1

EDMONTON -- The Anaheim Ducks have an opportunity to tie the Western Conference Second Round series against the Edmonton Oilers with a win in Game 4 at Rogers Place on Wednesday. Anaheim lost the first two games at home and won 6-3 in Game 3 on Sunday. With two full days between Game 3 and Game 4 in the best-of-7 series, the Ducks travelled to Kelowna, British Columbia, before returning to Edmonton on Tuesday. The Oilers will try to bounce back from a poor defensive effort and take a 3-1 lead in the series. 

Here are 5 keys for Game 4:


1. Patrick Eaves doubtful

Eaves sustained a foot injury in Game 3 and is doubtful. He has four points (two goals, two assists) in seven playoff games.

"We need to sell to our group that it's going to take a 20-man effort and prove it to ourselves that we can get through some of the hurdles we're presented with," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We feel that's the strength of us, we're not relying on one person to do everything for our group."

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm1: Eaves lifts own rebound past Talbot


2. Corey Perry could move to top line

Perry has three points in the playoffs (one goal, two assists) with each coming in the first round against the Calgary Flames. With Eaves out, Perry is expected to be reunited with Ryan Getzlaf on the top line.

"We've played a lot of games together," Perry said. "If that's the case tonight, then I just have to be ready to play. I think we're pretty comfortable together. It's just a matter of going out and playing hockey and doing the right things."

Video: CHI@ANA: Perry caps off pretty passing play for PPG


3. Extra day off

There were two days between Game 3 and Game 4, which gave Anaheim an opportunity to get away from Edmonton and provided the Oilers with a chance to regroup.

"I think it helps you feel fresh leaving the city and coming back," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "Sometimes when you stay in one city and have some extra days it kind of wears on you a little bit, there is a lot of hockey that you think about and then you're just sitting around."

4. Oilers look to rebound

Edmonton hopes for a better effort after being outplayed in Game 3. The Oilers were in a similar situation in the first round against the San Jose Sharks after losing 7-0 in Game 4, tying the series 2-2. The Oilers responded with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 5 and won the series with a 3-1 win in Game 6.

"We have to put together a good game here tonight," captain Connor McDavid said. "Even if we don't win, we have to show that we can play with them and dominate them. Obviously, this is a huge swing game; 2-2, there is a huge difference than 3-1. It's a big swing game in the series."

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: McDavid snipes in top-shelf beauty


5. Faceoff battle

The Ducks scored 25 seconds into Game 3 off a set play that was executed because of a clean faceoff win. Anaheim has dominated faceoffs, winning 119 of 200 (59.5 percent) in the first three games of the series.

"You want to touch base with all aspects of the game and you want to put your best foot forward," Ducks center Antoine Vermette said. "We firmly believe if we start with the puck, we give ourselves a chance to be on the right side of the game."


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Ondrej Kase

Nate Thompson -- Chris Wagner -- Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Brandon Montour

Shea Theodore -- Josh Manson

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Patrick Eaves (foot), Simon Despres (concussion), Clayton Stoner (abdominal), Kevin Bieksa (knee)


Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Zack Kassian -- Mark Letestu -- Drake Caggiula

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Matt Hendricks, Jujhar Khaira, Iiro Pakarinen, Griffin Reinhart

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)


Status report

Eaves is doubtful and Kase is expected to dress for the first time since Game 1 of the first round against the Calgary Flames. Vatanen is playing his second game after missing five with an upper-body injury. ... The Oilers are expected to dress the same lineup in Game 4 that they used in Game 3.


Who's hot

Silverberg has five points (four goals, one assist) in the series. Kesler has four points (one goal, three assists). ... Draisaitl has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past five games. McDavid has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past five games.

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