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Preview: Oilers at Ducks

Edmonton forward Patrick Maroon faces former teammates; Anaheim focusing on defense

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

OILERS (9-6-1) at DUCKS (7-6-3)


10 p.m. ET; (PRIME, SNOL, NHL.TV)

Oilers team scope

Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon will play at Honda Center for the first time since the Oilers acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 29. Arriving in Anaheim felt surreal, he said. The Oilers are staying at the same hotel where he lived for fourth months when he began his NHL career with the Ducks. "I'm just trying to play my game as much as possible," Maroon said Tuesday. "I'm trying go to the net and shoot with confidence. I'm shooting a lot more this year than usual." Maroon, playing left wing on the first line with center Connor McDavid and right wing Jordan Eberle, has a three-game point-scoring streak, and seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past six games. "I think Patty earned his confidence," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "As a result, he's off to a really hot start. He's become such an important part of our team and we're really lucky to have him." Edmonton has lost three straight games. "I don't want to say that we're a confused team, but we're a team that gets caught watching No. 97," McLellan said, referring to McDavid. "Others have to pick up the slack. I'm not worried about 97, I'm worried about others." 

Video: EDM@NYR: Maroon, Puljujarvi combine for slick goal

Ducks team scope

The Anaheim Ducks are looking for a renewed emphasis on defensive play after ending a three-game road trip with a 5-0 loss at the Nashville Predators on Saturday. "You can't win by giving up five goals," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We've got to take the mantra that we've got to win a game 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2. We seem to have success in those games. When we've played stout defensively, we've given ourselves a chance and gotten points in games. We're going to have to continue to play along those lines." However, Carlyle is cognizant of the threat McDavid brings off the rush. Center Ryan Kesler, who typically goes against the opposition's top-line center, will try to shut down McDavid by taking away time and space. "You just stay close to him," Kesler said. "You take away his speed since he's a guy who likes to speed through the neutral zone, and just grind at him." 

 Video: CGY@ANA: Kesler buries a loose puck for PPG in 2nd

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot - Leon Draisaitl - Zack Kassian

Milan Lucic - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Tyler Pitlick

Anton Lander - Mark Letestu - Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson  

Andrej Sekera - Matt Benning

Darnell Nurse - Eric Gryba  

Cam Talbot

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Dillon Simpson, Jesse Puljujarvi

Injured: Drake Caggiula (hip), Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Mark Fayne (undisclosed), Kris Russell (lower body), Matt Hendricks (lower-body)


Ducks projected lineup

Nick Ritchie - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Joseph Cramarossa - Antoine Vermette - Rickard Rakell  

Ryan Garbutt - Michael Sgarbossa - Jared Boll

Cam Fowler - Josh Manson

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Kevin Bieksa - Hampus Lindholm

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Chris Wagner

Injured: Simon Despres (concussion symptoms), Nate Thompson (achilles)


Status report

Slepyshev skated on the fourth line during the morning skate. McLellan said he plans to continue rotating Slepyshev and Puljujarvi. … The Ducks held an optional morning skate with no line rushes. 


Who's hot

Kesler has four goals in four games. … Silfverberg has three goals and three assists in six games. … McDavid has six assists in four games, and 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 16 games this season. … Eberle has two goals and two assists in three games. 

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