Tonights game has all the makings of a classic. The Edmonton Oilers are hotter than theyve been at any other point this season with five straight wins coming into this match-up. Their opponents tonight, the Anaheim Ducks, are also on a roll having picked up points in each of their last six games.
The game is also a rematch of last years Western Conference Final as the Ducks make their first appearance at Rexall Place since being eliminated in five games by the Oilers in that playoff series.
Oh, and a certain member of the Anaheim Ducks who was playing for the Oilers back then also makes his return to Rexall Place tonight. TONIGHT'S GAME AVAILABLE ON PAY PER VIEW: Tonight's game is sold out, but fans can still watch the game on Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View.
OILERS TO WATCH: Petr Sykora put up two points last game to increase his team-leading total to 24 on the season The Oilers have a four-way tie for top spot on the team in plus/minus. Each of Steve Staios, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Brad Winchester and Raffi Torres has a +4 rating Throughout the teams current win streak, Dwayne Roloson has been outstanding. Hes second only to Calgarys Miikka Kiprusoff in total saves with 550 and among the league leaders with a .926 save percentage.
DUCKS TO WATCH: Who else? Chris Pronger – a familiar face wearing the unfamiliar number 25 – returns to Rexall Place tonight as a member of the opposition. Pronger has been outstanding for Anaheim this season and a large reason why theyve started the season 17-2-6. Pronger ranks second on the team in scoring with 26 points (4g, 22a). That total puts him tops among defencemen in the league in points and hes also second in the league plus/minus at +16.
ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out; Steve Staios (knee) is doubtful; Jussi Markkanen (leg) is questionable. Anaheim – The Ducks are mainly healthy but each of their top two goaltenders are injured. Ilya Bryzgalov (groin) is questionable and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (undisclosed) is probable.
FAST FACTS: Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermayer will be playing in his 1000th career NHL game tonight. Its the second time during this homestand that a member of the visiting team has played his 1000th game. Doug Weight also accomplished the feat on November 16... Anaheim is first in the Western Conference with 91 goals scored on the season. Last season, they set a club record with 254 goals for and at this point in the season they had only 61 The Ducks have scored three or more goals in seven of their last eight games, 13 of the last 15 and 19-of-25 outings thus far this season. NEXT GAME: The Oilers meet the Colorado Avalanche for the sixth game of this seven-game homestand on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.