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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers vs. Ducks

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

 
INSIDE THE OILERS

 

News, notes and more including information on the first 20 Oilers alumni confirmed to be attending the final game ever at Rexall Place on Wednesday, April 6 against Vancouver.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

 

PRE-GAME REPORT

 

EDMONTON, AB - The Anaheim Ducks are playoff bound and dangerous.

“They present a lot (of challenges),” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan.

The Ducks are the top power play (23.7%) and penalty kill (86.6%) team in the League. They are 41-23-10 coming into tonight’s game against the Oilers, second only to Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with 92 points.

“We’ve run into the three California teams here in a row and each one presents a different set of issues,” said McLellan. “Number one power play and number one penalty kill right there. Five-on-five, they’re stingy and they don’t give up much. Their goaltenders are elite. They can play a size game, they can play a speed game, they’re very good in the circle, they’ve become a very strong checking team and it’s become really part of their identity. They don’t want to give up as much. It sounds like a complete team. We’ll need a complete game.”

This season, the Oilers have dropped three of their first four meetings against the Ducks. The Oilers lone win came on November 11, when Edmonton beat the Ducks 4-3 on the road in overtime.

MAROON CONTRIBUTES

An obvious Oilers-Ducks storyline revolves around one player in particular. The Oilers acquired winger Patrick Maroon from the Ducks at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Maroon had 11 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the Ducks last season and figured to be a big part of their 2015-16 plans. After just 13 points in 56 games for Anaheim, the club moved him to Edmonton and it has paid off for the massive forward.

“They welcomed me with open arms when I first got here, the coaching staff, players and all the training and equipment staff have been really good to me so it’s been a really good fit so far,” said Maroon.

The winger has earned a top-line role, flanking rookie phenom Connor McDavid. In just 12 games for the orange and blue, Maroon has posted five goals and six assists for 11 points.

“I just tried to come in here, play my game and do it to the best of my abilities,” he said. “Playing with good linemates helps and playing lots of minutes helps and getting your confidence and feeling the way you’re capable of feeling. It’s been good. I give credit to all my linemates. They’ve been really good for me lately.”

Maroon has been lighting up the stat sheet the last few games, recording five points (3-2-5) in his last two. He’s displayed a willingness to go to the net and ability to finish.

“I think he’s got incredible hands,” said McLellan. “Most of the teams he’s played on outside of the National Hockey League, he’s been a top scorer. He has experience playing with elite players in Getzlaf and Perry. He knows how they think, how they maneuver and gets into position. It’s not surprising. Maybe more surprising is he didn’t do it as much earlier this year but he had an incredible playoff last year. Again, there’s some things he needs to work on we’ll try to help him with and if he does those I think he can even improve more.”

LINEUP NOTES

Cam Talbot will start in net for the Oilers. The goaltender is 8-3 in his last 11 starts.

The defensive pairings remained the same during morning skate, although injured blueliners Adam Pardy and Eric Gryba were on the ice with the team. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (concussion) will not play against Anaheim.

According to the morning skate, Anton Lander draws in between Matt Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen on the fourth line.

Projected Forward Lines:

Maroon-McDavid-Eberle
Hall-Draisaitl-Yakupov
Korpikoski-Letestu-Kassian
Hendricks-Lander-Pakarinen

Projected Defensive Pairings:

Sekera-Fayne
Reinhart-Oesterle
Nurse-Clendening

-- Chris Wescott, edmontonoilers.com

 

NHL.COM PREVIEW

 

DUCKS (41-23-10) at OILERS (30-41-7)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNW, NHL.TV

Season series:
The Anaheim Ducks are 3-0-1 against the Edmonton Oilers. Ducks forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each have four points. Defenseman Sami Vatanen has three assists. Frederik Andersen is 2-0-1 despite allowing eight goals in three games. Forward Leon Draisaitl has two goals and four points for the Oilers.

Ducks team scope:
Anaheim was off on Sunday and concludes a five-game road trip in Edmonton; they are 2-1-1 following a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday in which they were down 3-0 in the third period. "Everyone stuck together," defenseman Hampus Lindholm told the Ducks website. "[Getzlaf] had a little speech in the locker room [after the second period]. He had good words for us to get us going. We came out and played the way we should’ve from the start." Anaheim has the League's best power play at 23.7 percent and scored the winner with the man-advantage in overtime. "Every time our power play goes onto the ice, I think they're going to have a chance to score," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's a good feeling. ... We knew we had the rest of the game on the power play, so we wanted to take our time and make the right play." The Ducks have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are three points behind the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with a game in hand. Andersen started the past two games, so John Gibson could be in net.

Oilers team scope:
Edmonton was off Sunday following a 6-4 loss to the Kings Saturday and concluded a 1-2-0 road trip. Rookie Laurent Brossoit allowed five goals on 32 shots and is still looking for his first NHL win; he's 0-4-1 this season and 0-5-1 in his career. "I still think [Brossoit] needs to be better. He has things to learn like the rest of our team," coach Todd McLellean told the Oilers website. "He has to be better in certain situations, I think the shorthanded goal was some indecision. I think there were some longer shots with rebounds he couldn't control, and yet he made some really good saves." Cam Talbot, who has started eight of the past 11 games, could be in net. Following Monday, the Oilers do not play again until Saturday and have four games in the next two weeks.

-- NHL.com

.

-- Chris Wescott, edmontonoilers.com

 

NHL.COM PREVIEW

 

DUCKS (41-23-10) at OILERS (30-41-7)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; FS-W, SNW, NHL.TV

Season series:
The Anaheim Ducks are 3-0-1 against the Edmonton Oilers. Ducks forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each have four points. Defenseman Sami Vatanen has three assists. Frederik Andersen is 2-0-1 despite allowing eight goals in three games. Forward Leon Draisaitl has two goals and four points for the Oilers.

Ducks team scope:
Anaheim was off on Sunday and concludes a five-game road trip in Edmonton; they are 2-1-1 following a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday in which they were down 3-0 in the third period. "Everyone stuck together," defenseman Hampus Lindholm told the Ducks website. "[Getzlaf] had a little speech in the locker room [after the second period]. He had good words for us to get us going. We came out and played the way we should’ve from the start." Anaheim has the League's best power play at 23.7 percent and scored the winner with the man-advantage in overtime. "Every time our power play goes onto the ice, I think they're going to have a chance to score," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's a good feeling. ... We knew we had the rest of the game on the power play, so we wanted to take our time and make the right play." The Ducks have clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are three points behind the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division with a game in hand. Andersen started the past two games, so John Gibson could be in net.

Oilers team scope:
Edmonton was off Sunday following a 6-4 loss to the Kings Saturday and concluded a 1-2-0 road trip. Rookie Laurent Brossoit allowed five goals on 32 shots and is still looking for his first NHL win; he's 0-4-1 this season and 0-5-1 in his career. "I still think [Brossoit] needs to be better. He has things to learn like the rest of our team," coach Todd McLellean told the Oilers website. "He has to be better in certain situations, I think the shorthanded goal was some indecision. I think there were some longer shots with rebounds he couldn't control, and yet he made some really good saves." Cam Talbot, who has started eight of the past 11 games, could be in net. Following Monday, the Oilers do not play again until Saturday and have four games in the next two weeks.

-- NHL.com
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