| OILERS at DUCKS: |
AT THE MORNING SKATE
The Oilers held an optional skate at Honda Center Wednesday morning, but most players opted to take to the ice. Among those who didn't were Tom Gilbert, Jean-Francois Jacques, Lubomir Visnovsky, Steve Staios, Dustin Penner & Marc Pouliot.
Although he missed Tuesday's practice due to a late arrival from the east coast, Devan Dubnyk was in one of the practice nets to help his squad prepare for the game. Jeff Deslauriers will get the start tonight vs. the Ducks, while Dubnyk is expected to play Thursday night in Los Angeles.
HOW TO DROWN DUCKS
The Ducks have won their past 10 games played at The Pond, and although the home team will be missing forward Ryan Getzlaf, the Oilers are prepared to face a formidable foe.
"They want desperately to get themselves back into the playoffs and be effective when they get there, so as much as [Getzlaf] might not be in the line-up, for us anyway we know we're going to have our hands full," Associate Coach Tom Renney said after the skate.
"They're playing really well," captain Ethan Moreau added. "We just watched some video on them so we'll be ready."
According to Renney, that readiness centres on a simple game plan: "Battle earlier, harder, and longer."
"It's about puck management for us," the coach explained. "We try to make so much out of little plays that don't get you a whole lot. It's sort of a risk/reward game for us right now and we've got to play more low-risk hockey but also elevate the battle level so that the other team knows we're in it."
Dustin Penner said it's important to forget about the past, including the club's 10 straight road losses, heading into the game.
"You've just got to break it down to the simplest form and that's that each game is just a one-game season," Penner said. "You've got to forget about the games before and the games that are coming up next, even if we're playing the next night in L.A like we are here. Just focus on tonight and what we can do and what we think can make the game successful for us and resulting in a victory."
Like in Monday night's game in Phoenix, Penner is expected to play with Ryan Potulny and Robert Nilsson tonight.
"I thought as a line we moved the puck well, we got in on the forecheck, we got a lot of shots on net just not a lot to show for it. Shots don't add up to goals unless they go in, so we've got to work on that part of it."
The former Duck is looking forward to more success with his linemates and a win tonight against his former team.
"It's always nice to come back here and play against guys that I won a Cup with," Penner said. "We have a good bond by winning it and it's just fun to get on the ice and play against them and test your skill against them. The banter that goes back and forth is always pretty funny.""
DUCKS 3 - OILERS 2
After surrendering the first goal, the Oilers stole the show in Anaheim by dominating the shot clock and tallying two shorthanded markers -- one short of the franchise record -- in the second period. But the Ducks responded with a powerplay goal and then go-ahead goal in the third, holding on for a 3-2 win Wednesday night.
Captain Ethan Moreau set up Ryan Potulny for Edmonton's first shortie and then added one of his own, while Anaheim's Bobby Ryan scored the Ducks first two goals. Goalies Jeff Deslauriers and Jonas Hiller finished with 27 and 37 saves respectively.
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com