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Preview: Ducks at Oilers

Edmonton can pass Anaheim for first place in Pacific Division with regulation win

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

DUCKS (42-23-12) at OILERS (43-25-9)



Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks are first in the Pacific Division, one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers. Anaheim and Edmonton have played the same number of games (77) and each team has 39 regulation/overtime wins. The Ducks are 2-1-1 in the season series; the Oilers are 2-2-0. "This is the kind of hockey you want to be playing leading into the playoffs," center Ryan Getzlaf said. "I think our schedule is set up that way, where we're going to play some pretty competitive teams here down the stretch. These guys are a team we're competing with for the division." Anaheim is trying to win the Pacific for the fifth consecutive season. The Ducks play at the Calgary Flames on Sunday, then conclude the regular season with three home games. "I don't know if it's important [to win division]; it's important to finish strong," Getzlaf said. "These are teams that we're going to have to go through at some point if you want to get to your goal. You never want to let them believe that they can beat us, and we just want to be playing our game. We want to be playing the right way, and that's what we're building on right now." Anaheim is 7-0-2 in its past nine games and 9-1-2 in its past 12. The Ducks failed to hold a 3-1 lead in the third period and lost 4-3 in overtime at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. "I still think there's lots of areas for us to improve on," coach Randy Carlyle said. "We got slapped back to reality the other night in Winnipeg, where we stopped playing. We didn't play anywhere near what we were capable of playing."


Oilers team scope

The Oilers are one point behind the Ducks and two points ahead of the third-place San Jose Sharks. "It'll be a great game, Saturday night for first place on the line," forward Jordan Eberle said. "We've clinched [a playoff spot], but our mindset right now is to give ourselves the best opportunity to do well in the playoffs and that's, obviously, first place." The Oilers are 8-1-0 in their past nine games and are on a seven-game home winning streak. "I think it took us a little while to get used to [Rogers Place], and I think we're very comfortable here now," defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "We like playing here, we like playing on the road, and for us a team, it doesn't really matter too much. I think we're a confident group right now and we just want to make sure we keep that going." Todd McLellan will be coaching his 700th NHL game. McLellan is in his second season with the Oilers after seven seasons with the Sharks. "It's not that significant a milestone when you look at the long, long-term coaches that are up in the 1,000s or 1,200s [games coached], there are a number of them that are in the League," McLellan said. "I've got a long way to go, but have been lucky enough to be in a great league around a lot of good people and I'm appreciative of that."


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Chris Wagner -- Nate Thompson - Jared Boll

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Korbinian Holzer -- Kevin Bieksa

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Brandon Montour, Logan Shaw

Injured: Simon Despres (head), Clayton Stoner (abdominal surgery)


Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

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

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Drake Caggiula

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Iiro Pakarinen, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev, Matt Benning

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)


Status report

Gibson is expected to start for the first time since March 10. He's been sidelined with a lower-body injury. Getzlaf will play his second game since sitting out a 4-1 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday with a lower-body injury … Hendricks will play his first game since March 20. He was a healthy scratch in the past five games.


Who's hot

Getzlaf has 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in his past 13 games. Rakell has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past 10 games … Draisaitl (four goals, 12 assists) and McDavid (five goals, 11 assists) each have 16 points during nine-game point streaks. McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 91 points (28 goals, 63 assists), four points ahead of Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. Maroon has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past nine games.

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