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Notes from the Road: Ducks Prepare for Rematch with Oilers

Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 5:22 PM / News
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Notes from the Road: Ducks Prepare for Rematch with Oilers
By Dan Wood
Ducks Radio Analyst


EDMONTON, Alberta – The Ducks went through a spirited practice session early Wednesday afternoon at Rexall Place in preparation for their penultimate game of the regular season.

“I thought we played a pretty horrid first period, even though I think they only got four shots against,” Boudreau said. “We played hard, and (Edmonton goaltender Devan) Dubnyk made the great saves when he had to make the great saves. That seems to be the story recently, in the last 20 games, when we have lost.”
Coming off Tuesday night’s 5-4, shootout loss at Vancouver, the Ducks will seek to snap a three-game winless skid Thursday when they take on the Edmonton Oilers for the second time in five nights.

The Oilers, who dropped a 2-0 decision to the Kings on Monday at Staples Center, handed the Ducks a 2-1 defeat Sunday at Honda Center. The victory was Edmonton’s first in its past six games against the Ducks, and just the second for the Oilers in 12 games since March 31, 2009.

While Edmonton is 32-39-9, in 14th place in the NHL’s Western Conference and wrapping up yet another season without a Stanley Cup playoff appearance, the Oilers have plenty to build on with young stars such as Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the injured Taylor Hall.

“Speed,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That’s been their forte and their thing since 1981, so speed is the first thought that I have. Their forwards are quick, and they work hard.”

The Ducks out-shot Edmonton 33-15 on Sunday, but two first-period turnovers led to goals by Oilers rookie Teemu Hartikainen, and the Ducks responded only with a goal from Teemu Selanne, the 663rd of his magnificent career.

“I thought we played a pretty horrid first period, even though I think they only got four shots against,” Boudreau said. “We played hard, and (Edmonton goaltender Devan) Dubnyk made the great saves when he had to make the great saves. That seems to be the story recently, in the last 20 games, when we have lost.”

Though they, too, won’t be participating in the playoffs, victories over the Oilers and in Saturday’s season-finale at Calgary would leave the Ducks with a break-even 35-35-12 record for the season. That would qualify as a significant accomplishment, given that the Ducks were 10-22-6 before a 4-2 victory over the visiting New York Islanders on Jan. 6.

“I can find different things to motivate teams and players,” said Boudreau, who doesn’t want to see players merely going through the motions in these final two games.

“It’s not hard to keep them focused if you keep your finger on the pulse of the pressure-type thing,” Boudreau said. “But if the coaches let up, then it’s really easy for the players to let up. They’re like your kids. If you’re not on top of your kids all the time, no matter what the occasion, they’re going to find ways to goof off. So you have to stay on top of them, right to the bell.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 36 23 8 5 104 98 51
2 CHI 35 23 10 2 107 72 48
3 NSH 33 22 9 2 95 70 46
4 STL 34 21 10 3 100 86 45
5 SJS 35 19 11 5 99 90 43
6 WPG 35 18 10 7 88 81 43
7 VAN 33 20 11 2 99 91 42
8 LAK 35 17 11 7 97 88 41
9 CGY 36 18 15 3 104 98 39
10 MIN 32 16 13 3 93 89 35
11 COL 34 13 13 8 90 101 34
12 DAL 33 14 14 5 95 113 33
13 ARI 34 12 18 4 80 112 28
14 EDM 35 7 21 7 75 121 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 35 12 27 9 39
R. Kesler 36 12 15 -1 27
S. Vatanen 36 9 15 1 24
C. Perry 23 14 8 11 22
M. Beleskey 36 15 4 12 19
C. Fowler 35 4 14 2 18
J. Silfverberg 36 4 12 2 16
H. Lindholm 35 4 11 11 15
P. Maroon 28 2 13 -4 15
D. Smith-Pelly 32 4 9 4 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28
F. Andersen 19 5 4 .914 2.39

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