Last time the Anaheim Ducks visited Rexall Place, they were flying high with only two losses in regulation time through their first 25 games of the season. This time around, the Ducks limp into Edmonton with a number of key personnel out due to injury.
After starting the season 25-3-6, the Ducks started to run into some injury trouble including to both their goaltenders in late December. Other players felled by injury over the past month include Todd Marchant and Sean ODonnell while defencemen Francois Beauchemin and Chris Pronger remain on the shelf.
As a result of the turmoil, through their last 14 games, the Ducks have a record of 5-7-2. They also have only two wins in their last nine.
The Oilers are finding themselves in a dogfight for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With a huge win over Minnesota on Tuesday night, theyre now back in the picture but need some favourable results in this upcoming five-game homestand that begins tonight against Anaheim.
OILERS TO WATCH: Petr Nedved has put up four points in his seven games as an Oiler with an even +/- rating In his two games since being recalled to the Oilers, Tom Gilbert has played very well. Edmonton won both games and he saw 2:25 of power play time Tuesday in Minnesota and 4:43 last Wednesday in San Jose. Both games Gilbert averaged about 13 minutes of total ice Former Duck Joffrey Lupul saw his 10-game scoreless drought come to an end with a power play goal in Minnesota.
DUCKS TO WATCH: Scott Niedermayer has picked up the slack with teammate Chris Pronger on the shelf. With points in eight of his last ten games, Niedermayer has moved ahead of Pronger in NHL defence scoring with 42 points Teemu Selanne seems to be getting better with age. His 29 goals is tied for tops in the league and he ranks eighth in points with 58 Anaheims supporting cast is also dangerous offensively as Dustin Penner (16 goals), Chris Kunitz (18 goals) and Ryan Getzlaf (19 goals) are all on pace for 30-goal seasons.
ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out. Daniel Tjarnqvist (inflamed pubic bone) is doubtful. Steve Staios is questionable. Ales Hemsky
(upper body) is questionable; Anaheim – Francois Beauchemin (lacerated spleen) is out. Chris Pronger (broken foot) is out. Jean-Sebastien Giguere (groin) is questionable. LINEUP UPDATE (11:42 AM): Ales Hemsky
is a game-time decision whether he will play tonight or not.
FAST FACTS: Since January 1, 2006 Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald have put up 220 points combined between the two players. No other duo on the same team has racked up as many points The Ducks have nine more wins and 16 more points than they did at this point last season Selanne has 40 goals and 74 points in 60 career games against Edmonton.