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Oilers rookie Schultz to face Ducks for first time

by Mike Battaglino

OILERS (16-15-7) at DUCKS (26-8-5)


Last 10: Edmonton 5-4-1; Anaheim 4-5-1

Season series: This is the first of three meetings, with two games in Edmonton on April 21-22.

Big story: This is the first game for Edmonton defenseman Justin Schultz against Anaheim, the team that drafted him in No. 43 in 2008. Schultz did not sign with the Ducks and joined the Oilers as a free agent this summer.

Team Scope:

Oilers: Schultz told the Orange County Register that having this game so late in the season "might make it a little easier," but the rookie is unsure how he'll be received at Honda Center.

"I don't know," Schultz said. "We'll see when game time comes. Whatever happens, it is what it is."

The 22-year-old has six goals and 14 assists, playing all 38 games this season. He had five points in his first four games, and has five in his past five. Schultz leads the team with 3:16 per game on the power play.

"It was just me having the option to be a free agent and choose where I wanted to play, and I saw an opportunity in Edmonton," Schultz said. "I don't regret making that decision."

Defenseman Mark Fistric will be back in the lineup for the first time since March 25, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Ducks: Perhaps the appearance of Schultz can help Anaheim avoid a letdown after a standing-room crowd watched a see-saw 4-3 shootout win against the rival Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.

"People wouldn't call it playoff hockey because there were too many goals, but I tell you there were two teams that were giving everything they had," coach Bruce Boudreau told Fox Sports. "And they didn't leave anything on the ice. It was as fast a paced game as we've played in a while."

Goalie Viktor Fasth faced 38 shots, plus two in the shootout.

"It was amazing, the whole atmosphere, you could really feel it on the ice," Fasth said. "It was a special game, but we have to enjoy this tonight and tomorrow we have to focus on the next game."

The Ducks played their second game in a row without captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has a lower-body injury. It's unknown if he'll be ready Monday.

"He's important for our team, but the other guys have to step forward and show that they can lead the team too," Fasth said. "Of course we hope to get him back as soon as possible."

Who's hot: Ducks forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Sheldon Souray have four points each in the past four games, and forward Andrew Cogliano has four points in five. … Edmonton is one of two teams (St. Louis Blues) ranked in the top 10 in both power play and penalty kill. The Oilers are third in power-play success (23.2 percent) and ninth in penalty kill (83.4). Forward Taylor Hall had 10 points in three games prior to two scoreless. Forward Nail Yakupov has five points in his past four games.

Injury report: Ducks forward Nick Bonino (lower body) is on injured reserve. Goalie Jonas Hiller (illness) returned to back up Viktor Fasth on Sunday. … Oilers forward Eric Belanger (groin) is on injured reserve.

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