EDMONTON - The Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers are both near the bottom of the NHL standings, but there seems to be a big difference in the direction each team is heading.
Corey Perry scored twice, Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist and Ryan Getzlaf picked up four assists as the Ducks flew past the struggling Oilers with a 5-0 victory on Friday.
Selanne said it was probably the best game Anaheim has played all season.
"I didn't see one bad play out there today," he said. "It was overall a very solid effort by everybody. It was the best game we've played all season. We're gaining so much confidence as a team right now.
"The last four or five games, that's the way we were supposed to have played all season. Hopefully we can keep pushing, and you never know."
Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots to earn his second shutout of the season for the Ducks (14-22-7), who have won four of their last five and moved to within one point of Edmonton and 28th place in the NHL.
Jason Blake and Bobby Ryan rounded out the scoring for Anaheim.
Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano also feels like his squad is on the upswing.
"All four lines are contributing every game," he said. "We are really starting to click now. We're obviously quite a few points back. But the more we've starting winning and feeling good about ourselves, I feel like this a team gaining momentum."
The Oilers (16-23-4) are going in the opposite direction, with losses in five straight and in 12 of their last 14 games.
Oilers head coach Tom Renney was clearly upset with his team's effort on the night.
"I'm not sure what Anaheim did in the game was all that spectacular. We were just brutal," he said. "They don't feel real good about themselves at the moment and they shouldn't.
"The thing I don't like is that I don't see ice bags and guys sore from really gutting it out and doing everything they possibly can to win a hockey game."
The Ducks started the scoring eight minutes into the first period as Cam Fowler fed the puck to Blake in the slot and he blasted his first of the season past Edmonton starter Nikolai Khabibulin.
"I've just been trying to get my legs underneath me," said Blake, who missed 34 games this season with a laceration on his wrist. "Missing that many games is not easy. I'm just glad to get that goal off my back."
Anaheim took a 2-0 lead early in the second period on a power-play goal as Selanne swung behind the net and backhanded the puck in front, getting some luck as it hit Khabibulin and bounced behind him.
It was Selanne's 15th goal of the season.
It appeared the Oilers had quickly responded as Anton Lander lifted a puck over Hiller. However, the goal was called off because of an early whistle on the play.
Edmonton's frustrations came to a boil a few minutes later as Sam Gagner got into a rare fight with Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin in response to a hit the Ducks' defenceman had made on Taylor Hall.
Anaheim went up 3-0 midway through the second period on another bad goal as Getzlaf made a nice pass to set up Ryan, whose shot from the side of the net somehow got past Khabibulin.
The Oilers starter was yanked after the goal in favour of backup Devan Dubnyk.
Just over three minutes later, Anaheim went up 4-0 as Dubnyk was able to stop Perry on a breakaway but bobbled the shot, allowing the Ducks winger to put away his own rebound.
Anaheim rounded out the scoring with three minutes to play as Perry scored his 20th of the season.
Both teams return to action on Sunday as the Oilers play host to the Los Angeles Kings and the Ducks wrap up a three-game Western Canadian trip in Vancouver.
Notes: It was the first of four meetings between the two teams this season??? Taylor Hall, the first-overall draft pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft, played in his 100th game for the Oilers??? With backup goalie Dan Ellis expected to miss at least a month with a groin muscle tear, former Oiler goalie Jeff Deslauriers has taken his place on the roster??? The Oilers were missing several key players including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, as well as defencemen Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and Cam Barker????????? Khabibulin was celebrating his 39th birthday????????? The Ducks are 7-9-3 since Bruce Boudreau took over as coach on Nov. 30.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Selanne scoring twice, instead of Perry.