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Hall hopes to keep hot play going vs. Ducks

by Mike G. Morreale /
DUCKS (13-13-3) at OILERS (10-12-4)


Last 10 -- Anaheim 3-6-1; Edmonton 6-3-1

Season series -- This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. Edmonton snapped a six-game winless streak in the first meeting, Nov. 21 in Anaheim, as goalie Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves. Ales Hemsky's goal at 13:29 of the third snapped a 2-2 tie and Tom Gilbert scored into an empty net to seal the Oilers' victory.

Big story -- Oilers rookie Taylor Hall scored his second game-winning goal of the season in dramatic fashion Saturday when the first choice of the 2010 Entry Draft scored 23 seconds into overtime to secure a 2-1 victory against the St. Louis Blues. Hall has 6 goals in his last eight games, and the victory extended Edmonton's winning streak to four games.

Team Scope:

Ducks --
Anaheim welcomed right wing Joffrey Lupul back to the lineup Sunday against Phoenix. It was his first game since Dec. 8, 2009; he had been sidelined by back surgery and a subsequent blood infection. On a conditioning stint for AHL Syracuse, Lupul had a goal and 3 assists in three games. In his return, Lupul, who began the game on a line with Saku Koivu and Jason Blake, earned 14:28 of ice time, had three shots on goal and a minus-1 rating.

Oilers -- Edmonton utilized three different goalies in recording three straight victories on the road last week. Martin Gerber made 22 saves in a 4-1 victory against Ottawa on Nov. 29; Devan Dubnyk stopped 36 shots in a 4-3 overtime win in Montreal on Dec. 1; and Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 33 shots in a 5-0 victory against Toronto on Dec. 2. The threesome yielded just four goals on 95 shots. Khabibulin was back in goal for the team's 2-1 home victory in overtime over the Blues on Saturday with 31 saves.

Who's hot -- Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney has a team-leading 21 points -- all assists. He's fifth among defensemen in points, and fifth in the League in assists. … Ducks forward Bobby Ryan has 6 goals in his last eight games and 9 goals and 13 points in his last 16 games.

Injury report -- Edmonton's Ales Hemsky re-aggravated a groin injury and coach Tom Renney said Monday he could be out up to a month. … Anaheim right wing Teemu Selanne (groin) is day-to-day.

Stat pack -- Selanne is one of only 18 players in NHL history to score 600 goals (614), and one of only three Europeans, along with Jaromir Jagr (646) of the Czech Republic and Jari Kurri (601) of Finland.

Puck drop -- "It's more or less the same questions, how the first year is going for me and the team," Hall told reporters following his overtime winner against the Blues on Saturday. "People are interested in that, it's a good story line. We have three rookies, pretty much a whole line of rookies. Not a lot of teams can say they have that possible future. It's fun. It's good to have a lot of excitement around the team, we're an up-and-coming team, I think everybody knows that."

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