Mighty Ducks-Oilers Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (13-19-7-5) at Edmonton Oilers (17-19-7-1).
TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST.
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks look to avoid matching their longest winless streak
in more than two years when they visit an Edmonton Oilers club that has
defeated them five straight times.
The defending Western Conference champion Ducks began a three-game road trip
Tuesday, losing 3-1 to the Colorado Avalanche to fall to 0-4-3 in their last
Anaheim last went without a victory in seven straight contests from Dec.
26-Jan. 8 of last season. The Ducks haven't gone winless in eight in a row
since an 0-6-2 skid from Dec. 27, 2001-Jan. 12, 2002.
The Ducks have been struggling on the power play during their winless
streak. Anaheim went 0-for-4 against the Avs on Tuesday, and is scoreless in
its last 15 power-play chances.
During the seven-game skid, Anaheim is 2-for-19 on the power play.
"Night after night, the chances we get are unbelievable, and the goals we
score are nil," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "We create chances we don't
Anaheim will be trying to earn its first victory of 2004 against an Edmonton
team that has outscored the Ducks 14-7 in winning five straight in the series.
The Ducks' last victory over the Oilers was a 2-0 win on April 5, 2002.
The Oilers snapped a five-game home winless streak when they beat the
Florida Panthers 4-2 on Tuesday.
Edmonton has also struggled on the power play this season and owns the
second-worst percentage in the NHL. But on Tuesday, Raffi Torres and Ryan Smyth
scored power-play goals to lead the Oilers.
"The power play has been struggling and it's good to see that we got a
couple tonight," Torres said. "Hopefully, the fans will lay off a little
The power-play goals were Edmonton's first in eight games since a 2-1 home
loss to the Calgary Flames on Dec. 28.
"I don't even remember the last time we scored a power-play goal," Oilers
defenseman Eric Brewer said. "It's nice to get a couple tonight."