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OILERS (11-20-3) AT DUCKS (22-7-5)
TV: SNET-W, SNET-EDM, PRIME
Last 10: Edmonton 4-5-1; Anaheim 7-1-2
Season series: Anaheim and Edmonton open a five-game season series tonight at Honda Center. This marks the first time these two teams have played more than four games in a regular season since the 1998-99 campaign, when the clubs faced each other five times (2-3-0 record for Anaheim). The Ducks have won four consecutive games vs. the Oilers and swept last season's series, 3-0-0. Anaheim owns a 42-34-6 all-time record vs. Edmonton, including a 22-16-3 mark at Honda Center. The last time the Ducks won five straight over the Oilers was Dec. 7, 2010-Mar. 5, 2012. Following tonight's game, the season series will feature two additional games at Honda Center on Jan. 3 and Apr. 2, and two games at Rexall Place on Mar. 28 and Apr. 6.
Big story: The Ducks conclude a three-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers tonight at Honda Center (5 p.m. PST, PRIME TICKET/AM 830). At 49 points, Anaheim is second in the overall NHL standings, behind only Chicago (51). The Ducks have won four straight games (4-0-0) and earned points in seven straight (5-0-2, 12 points), marking the longest active point streak in the league. The Ducks have gone 12-0-2 at Honda Center this season, marking the club's best home start in club history. The Ducks join San Jose (20-0-2, 2008-09) as the only NHL teams to go through its first 14 home games without a regulation defeat (since implementation of shootouts in 2005-06). Anaheim is the only club in the NHL that has not lost in regulation at HOME this season
Ducks: Anaheim has won four games in a row and have suffered just one loss in regulation since Nov. 18. They haven't played since Wednesday, a 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. With three full days off in between games, the Ducks had an intense practice on Friday. Sunday will be their last home game before embarking on a four-game pre-Christmas road swing.
"We wanted to get back to a hard practice. This is kind of a funny month with Christmas and how many games we have on the big road trip," said defenseman Cam Fowler. "It’s important to get to the rink and get our work in. I think we did a good job of doing that today."
Anaheim has remained atop the Pacific Division despite a rash of injuries. Mathieu Perreault (lower body) and defensemen Francois Beauchemin (upper body) and Mark Fistric (upper body) are expected to be ready for tonight's game, and Jakob Silfverberg (hand) might see game action on the team's upcoming road trip.
"We're definitely missing some key guys right now, and guys that will hopefully come back ready and strong and contribute right away. They've certainly been missed," Fowler said. "We are looking forward to getting healthy again and having a full lineup."
Oilers: Edmonton was unable to solve Roberto Loungo in a 4-0 loss against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Vancouver controlled the pace early, outshooting Edmonton 14-4 in a scoreless first period. But Daniel Sedin opened the scoring in the second on the power play and three third-period goals led the Canucks, who outshot the Oilers 40-19.
"We had some extended shifts in our own zone" Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. "We didn't spend nearly enough time in their zone. Creating turnovers and having extended shifts in our end...you're going to get outshot every time."
The Oilers (6-10-2 on the road) have one regulation road win since Nov. 16 and continue a four-game road trip in Los Angeles and Colorado next week.
Who's hot: Few players are hotter than Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Perry has a seven-game goal-scoring streak for the Ducks and Getzlaf has 22 points in his current 15-game point streak. ... Taylor Hall has five goals in four games for the Oilers.
Injury report:The Ducks have six players on IR: Defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist), Francois Beauchemin (upper body) and Luca Sbisa (wrist), goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) and wings Jakob Silfverberg (hand) and Mathieu Perreault (lower body). However, Beauchemin, Fistric, Perreault and Silfverberg are close to returning. ... Oilers forwards Steve MacIntyre, Ryan Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick are all on injured reserve with knee injuries. Richard Bachman (groin) and Ilya Bryzgalov (head) are also on IR. Corey Potter (neck) and Ryan Smyth (neck) did not play Friday.
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