|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
The Anaheim Ducks are playing like a team that's serious about reaching the postseason. The Edmonton Oilers are not.
The surging Ducks look for a season-high sixth straight victory Friday night while trying to avoid a third consecutive home loss to the struggling Oilers in a matchup of clubs competing for the final Western Conference playoff spots.
Anaheim (37-31-6) rolled to a 7-2 victory at Colorado on Wednesday to continue its solid play down the stretch. The Ducks are tied with Nashville for seventh place, but have one more win than the Predators with eight games remaining.
"It's a perfect time to be going on a streak like this because you want to be going into the playoffs at your peak," defenseman James Wisniewski said of the Ducks, who last won six in a row from Feb. 17-March 3, 2008.
Edmonton (35-30-9), meanwhile, looks to avoid its fourth straight loss after falling 3-2 at lowly Phoenix on Thursday. The Oilers are just one point behind Anaheim, but currently tied with St. Louis for ninth place.
"Right now, we're getting down to the nitty-gritty in the schedule and can only look ahead," defenseman Sheldon Souray said of the Oilers, who have eight games remaining.
In their previous two games, the Oilers won 3-2 at Anaheim on Oct. 15 and the Ducks earned a 3-2 shootout victory at Edmonton on Dec. 19.
Corey Perry had a goal in regulation and the only one in the tiebreaker of that contest. He had two Wednesday for Anaheim, which has outscored its opponents 22-10 during the winning streak while going 9-for-19 on the power-play.
"We were getting some fortunate bounces," said Perry, who has six goals and four assists in 14 games against Edmonton. "It hasn't really happened in a while. You can't count on that every night."
Rookie Andrew Ebbett had a goal with two assists and Wisniewski added three assists Wednesday for the Ducks, who return home where they've won three of their last four contests. Ebbett has two goals and three assists in his last three games.
Jonas Hiller made 34 saves against Colorado to improve to 18-14-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average. He is 1-1-0 with a 2.54 GAA versus Edmonton, but Jean Sebastien-Giguere could be in net for this game.
Giguere is 19-17-5 with a 3.06 GAA and hasn't faced Edmonton this season. He is 5-11-2 with a tie and a 2.88 GAA against the Oilers.
Ales Kotalik and Ales Hemsky each had third-period goals as Edmonton tried to rally from a three-goal deficit against the Coyotes. Hemsky also added an assist for the Oilers, who have been outscored 9-4 during their skid.
Hemsky, who has a career-high 22 goals, has four points in his last four games overall and six goals with eight assists in 17 career matchups against Anaheim.
Dwayne Roloson made 20 saves against the Coyotes in his 30th straight start to extend his team record. Likely to be back in net, Roloson is 26-20-9 with a 2.76 GAA, and 7-6-2 with one tie and a 2.46 GAA against the Ducks.
The teams conclude their season series Tuesday in Edmonton.
|Mar 31 '09||ANA 5 at EDM 3||R. Niedermayer|
|Mar 27 '09||EDM 5 at ANA 3||K. Brodziak|
|Dec 19 '08||ANA 3 at EDM 2 - SO||C. Perry|
|Oct 15 '08||EDM 3 at ANA 2||L. Visnovsky|
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