Skip to Main Content

Ducks clinch Pacific Division with win vs. Oilers

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- There weren't any champagne bottles popped in the Anaheim Ducks' dressing room, as coach Bruce Boudreau had dryly predicted earlier in the day.

There was talk of bigger things on their plate and a good line by Boudreau to end his media session after the Ducks clinched their third straight Pacific Division title with a 5-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center on Wednesday.

"I'll be happy, believe me, if we win our last playoff game," Boudreau said.

"Not taking anything away, but we've had a fairly good lead for a while now. It would be more surprising if we didn't get the division. Business as usual."

Anaheim certainly looked tuned up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jakob Silfverberg had a career-high three assists and Corey Perry scored his team-leading 33rd goal this season and 600th NHL point for the Ducks (50-22-7), who reached 50 wins for the second straight season and restored the League lead with 107 points.

Andrew Cogliano said he wasn't even sure some of his teammates knew about the division title. It's another banner they can hang in the rafters but it's ultimately not the one they want.

"I think it's an achievement in terms of the League is tough, and there's obviously a ton of good teams and it's a very hard league to win in, and to be able to be in our spot speaks to the team we have and how well we've played," Cogliano said. "But I don't think anyone cares too much. We accepted it tonight and we'll go from here, and now focus on what's really important."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers (23-41-13), who had their three-game win streak end.

Silfverberg set up two goals to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead before the first intermission. He fed Nate Thompson in the slot after Edmonton defenseman Justin Schultz lost the puck behind the net at 9:59 of the opening period.

Earlier in the game, Silfverberg grabbed the puck along the wall and passed to defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who skated in and beat Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens with a wrist shot at 3:43 of the first for his career-high 11th goal.

Boudreau liked how the Cogliano-Thompson-Silfverberg line set the tone early. Silfverberg, whose three assists came in 11:36 minutes of ice time, said he didn't think he had three assists in a game before at any level. He agreed it was one of his better games this season.

"I feel like the last couple of games I've been playing pretty good, it's just not showing up in the score sheet and obviously tonight I felt pretty good," Silfverberg said. "I got some good chances and managed to set up a few others too, and obviously that helps out a lot with the confidence. Tonight was a fun night."

Perry made it 3-0 at 8:33 of the second. He batted in his own rebound in mid-air after his initial shot was blocked by Oilers defenseman Keith Aulie. Defenseman Simon Despres scored his first goal with the Ducks on a quick shot from the left perimeter at 12:06 of the second.

Cogliano scored his first NHL penalty-shot goal at 5:14 of the third after Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom slashed him on a breakaway. Cogliano made a quick stickhandle move and beat Scrivens high on a snap shot.

It was redemptive on multiple levels for Cogliano, who has been foiled on numerous breakaways this season.

"It was my former team, and I thought our line had a pretty good game as the game was going on," he said. "For myself it was cool to score."

Nugent-Hopkins ended Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen's shutout bid at 17:05 of the second when he converted Jordan Eberle's pass in transition. Nugent-Hopkins has five goals in seven games.

Edmonton looked overmatched at the start and played much of the first half of the game in its own end.

"We just weren't sharp right off the bat," Nugent-Hopkins said "I mean, we know that these guys jump up hard with their defensemen and for whatever reason we weren't prepared for that. Mentally, I don't think we were picking guys up. They're a good team. You can see where they are in the standings and how many points they have. If you're not sharp against a team like this, they're going to take advantage of that."

The Oilers were trying to win four in a row for the first time since Oct.20-27. Coach Todd Nelson critiqued it as a setback and cited self-inflicted errors that Anaheim turned into goals.

"Tonight felt like a game that maybe we played two-and-half months ago, where we shoot ourselves in the foot," Nelson said. "Against a good hockey team like this, when you have a bad line change or you turn the puck [over] in key areas, they'll make you pay, and that's what they did tonight."

Ducks center Ryan Kesler was scratched to rest a reported arm injury. He had played in every game this season. Left wing Matt Beleskey (lower body) also did not play.

Beauchemin passed Oleg Tverdovsky for the second-most assists (126) among defensemen in Ducks history.

View More