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Preview: Oilers at Ducks

Goaltender Cam Talbot to make 13th straight start for Edmonton; Anaheim to stay with Jonathan Bernier in crucial Pacific Division game

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (39-24-9) at DUCKS (38-23-11)

10 p.m. ET; PRIME, SNW, NHL.TV 

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers, 15 games over .500 for the first time since the 1987-88 season, look to extend their winning streak to five games. They enter tied with the Anaheim Ducks for second place in the Pacific Division, four points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks, who have lost four in a row. The Oilers last won a division title in 1986-87. "It's a very big game for us, big game for [the Ducks]," coach Todd McLellan said Wednesday. "This time of year, there isn't a casual night." Goaltender Cam Talbot will start for the 13th consecutive game. He's coming off back-to-back shutouts against the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings, and hasn't allowed a goal in 140:32. Talbot's seven shutouts this season are the most by an Edmonton goalie since Tommy Salo had eight in 2000-01. Forward Patrick Maroon has four goals in his past four games and 25 this season, equaling center Connor McDavid for the Oilers lead. Maroon played 204 games for Anaheim between the 2011-12 and 2015-16 seasons before being traded to Edmonton on Feb. 29, 2016. "Anaheim was the first team to take a chance on me, gave me the opportunity to play in the NHL," Maroon said. "They had some really good players. I was challenged to be a good player." Maroon is one of seven Oilers to appear in every game this season. "Todd's given me an opportunity to succeed," Maroon said.

 

Ducks team scope

The Ducks have won four straight Pacific Division titles and are in contention for a fifth straight. They're 5-1-1 in their past seven games and look to break a tie with the Oilers for second place in the division and close the gap between them and the first-place Sharks to two points. "[Wednesday] is the biggest game of the season for both hockey clubs," coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's as simple as that." Goaltender Jonathan Bernier will start; he did not play in any of the previous three games against the Oilers this season; Anaheim is 2-0-1 against Edmonton. Bernier is 7-2-1 in his past 10 starts since taking over for John Gibson, out with a lower-body injury. "He's gotten an opportunity to play a bunch of games in a row and he's feeling good about himself," Carlyle said. "He's a guy that, when we brought him here, we understood what kind of personality he has, what kind of work ethic he brings day in and day out, what kind of professional he is, so that's boded well for him and our hockey club." The Ducks hope to take advantage in the faceoff circle; Anaheim is No. 1 in the NHL in faceoff-win percentage (54.8), and the Oilers are last (47.2). "You can't just plan you're going to have success in the faceoff circle and plan your whole game around that," Carlyle said, "but it is a strong point of our hockey club and we like to utilize it. Hopefully it makes a contribution to us, but we're not going to bank on it."

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

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

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Anton Slepyshev -- Mark Letestu -- Drake Caggiula

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Matt Hendricks, Jujhar Khaira, Matthew Benning, Iiro Pakarinen.

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Corey Perry

Ondrej Kase -- Nate Thompson -- Chris Wagner

Cam Fowler -- Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Brandon Montour -- Sami Vatanen

Jonathan Bernier

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Jared Boll, Korbinian Holzer, Logan Shaw.

Injured: John Gibson (lower body), Clayton Stone (abdominal surgery), Simon Despres (concussion)

 

Status report

Hendricks will be a healthy scratch after playing 9:18 in a 2-0 win against the Kings on Monday. Slepyshev returns to the lineup after being a healthy scratch against Los Angeles.

 

Who's hot

McDavid has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak, and 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in his past 17 games. ... Draisaitl has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past four games. ... Lucic has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past 10 games. ... Getzlaf has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past nine games. ... Rakell has six points (four goals, two assists) in a five-game point streak.

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