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Oilers D-man Oesterle to make debut against Ducks

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com

EDMONTON -- Defenseman Jordan Oesterle will make his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers against the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place on Saturday.

Oesterle was recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Friday and will replace Keith Aulie in the Oilers lineup.

"I think anytime a player plays his first game, it's an exciting time," Edmonton coach Todd Nelson said. "We're facing a really good hockey team, and it'll be a great challenge for him. But he's a guy that can skate very well, he moves the puck well. I'm very excited to watch him play tonight."

The Oilers and Ducks each are playing the second of back-to-back games.

On Friday, the Oilers were shut out by former teammate Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild; they didn't test Dubnyk, who made 15 saves in the 4-0 Minnesota victory. The Ducks scored five third-period goals in a 6-3 come-from-behind win against the Calgary Flames.

Edmonton has sustained a number of injuries recently, with defenseman Jeff Petry and center Anton Lander the latest forced out of the lineup. Lander injured his shoulder against Boston and has been placed on injured reserve.

Petry took a shot off the chest Wednesday in a 5-4 shootout win against the Boston Bruins. He did not play against the Wild and will not play against the Ducks.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is expected to go with the same lineup Saturday that he used Friday in Calgary. Boudreau split up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry against the Flames, and the two will start on separate lines against the Oilers.

"We won the game," Boudreau said. "I don't know how long [playing Getzlaf and Perry on different lines] lasts. A lot of it depends on how the game is going. If the game is not going good in either direction for us, I switch whether they're playing together or apart. It wasn't the first time we've done that this year; it was the first time probably that we did it in Canada, so it was more public knowledge than it would be if we had done it in Anaheim."

John Gibson made 28 saves for Anaheim in the victory against Calgary, but Boudreau would not reveal if he will switch goaltenders against Edmonton.

The Ducks also have Ilya Bryzgalov available, but he has not played since giving up three goals on eight shots in a 6-2 loss against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 10. Bryzgalov spent time with the Oilers last season.

Goaltender Ben Scrivens will make his third consecutive start for Edmonton with Viktor Fasth out because of a knee injury.

Boudreau expects a tough challenge against the Oilers, who are 10-11-3 since Nelson took over exclusively for Dallas Eakins.

"Their lineup is completely different than when we last played them," Boudreau said. "I'd be surprised if there are 12 players the same from when we last played them. The big difference now is that they're all playing for jobs, so they're playing harder. When you're playing to put food on the table, it's different than playing for playoffs. They'll come out and they will be a difficult test tonight."

Here are the projected lineups.

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Kyle Palmieri

Devante Smith-Pelly - Ryan Kesler - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg

Rene Bourque - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Clayton Stoner - Josh Manson

John Gibson

Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratched: Emerson Etem, Eric Brewer

Injured: Sami Vatanen (leg), Matt Beleskey (shoulder), Frederik Andersen (neck)

OILERS

Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Teddy Purcell - Derek Roy - Nail Yakupov

Ryan Hamilton - Matt Hendricks - Iiro Pakarinen

Rob Klinkhammer - Boyd Gordon - Luke Gazdic

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne

Jordan Oesterle - Andrew Ference

Ben Scrivens

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Keith Aulie, Matt Fraser

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (leg), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder), Viktor Fasth (knee), Anton Lander (shoulder), Jeff Petry (ribs).

Status report: With Lander out, Hendricks will play center on the Oilers' third line … Perry will be playing his 700th career game Saturday. Cogliano will be playing in his 600th game. Cogliano has never missed a game in his career due to injury, dating back to Oct. 4, 2007 wh,en he made his NHL debut with the Oilers.

Who's hot: Cogliano has four points in his past three games. He scored a goal and had an assist against Calgary. … Eberle has four assists in his past three games.

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