TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (15-18-3) vs Anaheim Ducks (14-15-6)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
The Oilers are beginning to see a familiar sight as nce again, the team is at the bottom of the Pacific Division. The difference however, is that the team currently sits four points out of a playoff spot.
The Anaheim Ducks however, are a team not far from Edmonton in the standings. Sitting only one point above us, the Oilers have a great chance to get a big W and jump a team in the standings.
This season, the Western Conference is an anomaly. It is so strange to see the Oilers so close to the basement, but yet so close to a playoff spot. If the Oilers want a chance to make the playoffs they have the chance to.
The question is whether or not the team is going to have what it takes to get there.
Tonight, the Oilers need to come out guns blazing as the Ducks have scored a league low 1.89 goals per game. Last time the Ducks and Oilers met was on November 11th, when the Oilers won 4-3 thanks to Teddy Purcell’s game winning goal.
Brandon Davidson and Jujhar Khaira will draw back into the lineup due to injuries to both Iiro Pakarinen and Eric Gryba. Davidson has scored five points in 23 games this season, and is a 53% CF player at even strength.
“[The Ducks] are a team that pushes the pace,” said Oilers defenceman Brandon Davidson. “I think they’ve done a great job on their penalty kill. It’s going to be a great test for us here tonight. I don’t expect anything but their best and we’ve got to be up for the challenge.”
The return of Davidson is a big one for the Oilers. The 24-year old rookie has been a staple on the Oilers blue line, and has earned every minute of ice-time he has been given.
After being drafted in the 6th round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Davidson spent a year in the WHL as the captain of the Regina Pats. Since then, he accumulated 150 games in the American Hockey League honing his skill.
Now, he has earned himself a home in the NHL.
Lauri Korpikoski is set to play in his 500th NHL game tonight.
With the exception of defenseman Cam Fowler, who is on injured reserve with a sprained knee, Anaheim had a full complement of players at practice in Edmonton on Wednesday. Shea Theodore took Fowler’s place and made his NHL debut in a 1-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. He played 15:45 paired with veteran Clayton Stoner. “I played it simple,” Theodore told the Ducks website. “It helps when you have a defense partner like Clayton Stoner. He’s a simple guy to play with. He made things easy.” The Ducks have won back-to-back games to climb past the Oilers and out of the Western Conference basement. Anaheim ends a three-game trip against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday before an eight-game homestand.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Luke Gazdic – Anton Lander – Jujhar Khaira
Darnell Nurse – Andrej Sekera
Justin Schultz – Mark Fayne
Brandon Davidson – Brad Hunt
Ducks (John Gibson):
Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Carl Hagelin – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Jiri Sekac – Shawn Horcoff – Patrick Maroon
Andrew Cogliano – Nate Thompson – Mike Santorelli
Cam Fowler – Josh Manson
Sami Vatanen – Kevin Bieksa
Clayton Stoner – Shea Theodore
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