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Oilers at Ducks preview

Edmonton tries to gain in standings; Gibson expected to return for Anaheim

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (23-25-4) at DUCKS (26-19-10)

10 p.m. ET; PRIME, SNW, NHL.TV

 

The Game

John Gibson, who has missed the past four games with a lower-body injury, is expected to start for the Anaheim Ducks when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center on Friday.

Gibson is 8-2-1 in his past 11 starts with a .923 save percentage. Backup Ryan Miller went 1-3-0 with 14 goals-against and an .874 save percentage in four starts in his absence.

The Oilers are 14 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, and trail the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks by four points each for second place in the Pacific Division.

The Ducks are two points out of the second wild card and two points out of second place in the division.

 

Players to watch

Oilers forward Connor McDavid has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in his past three games. In his past 13 regular-season and playoff games against the Ducks, he has 13 points (five goals, eight assists).

Ducks forward Rickard Rakell has four goals in his past three games and nine points (four goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak. His 23 assists this season tied his career high (2015-16).

 

They said it

"Every game from here on out is a must-win." -- Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira

"We need to make sure we're desperate when we go on the ice here in the next stretch of games." -- Ducks defenseman Josh Manson

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Milan Lucic -- Leon Draisaitl -- Drake Caggiula

Jujhar Khaira -- Ryan Strome -- Zack Kassian

Anton Slepyshev -- Mark Letestu -- Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse -- Brandon Davidson

Oscar Klefbom -- Kris Russell

Andrej Sekera -- Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Al Montoya

Scratched: Yohann Auvitu, Michael Cammalleri, Adam Larsson

Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper-body)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Adam Henrique -- Ondrej Kase

Chris Wagner -- Antoine Vermette -- J.T. Brown

Cam Fowler -- Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour

John Gibson

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Derek Grant, Reto Berra

Injured: Patrick Eaves (illness)

 

Status report

Puljujarvi will remain on the top line with McDavid after moving there in a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. … Vermette is expected to return after he was a healthy scratch for the first time this season in a 4-3 overtime win at the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Vermette is second in the NHL in face-off win percentage (60.2) among players with at least 500 draws.

 

Stat pack

Edmonton has trailed 2-0 in four of its past five games (2-1-2) and 16 times this season. … The Ducks are 18-10-3 with Getzlaf in the lineup this season and 8-9-7 without him.

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