NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 18th (All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (30-10-8) at Edmonton Oilers (22-20-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers will kick off a five-game homestand this evening with an intraconference test against the suddenly-struggling Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place.
The Ducks still reside at the top of the Pacific Division but have seen their once-commanding lead over second-place San Jose dwindle to six points because of their recent slide. Anaheim has dropped two in a row and seven of its last nine and is coming off a disappointing 6-2 home loss to St. Louis on Wednesday.
Anaheim fell despite outshooting the Blues by a 32-20 margin, but goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov stopped only nine of 13 chances before being yanked in favor of Sebastian Caron midway through the second period.
Bryzgalov has struggled filling in for No. 1 netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has not played since December 26 because of a groin injury and is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. The Ducks also continue to play without rugged defenseman Chris Pronger, who is recovering from a broken left foot.
Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry had the goals for Anaheim. Selanne's tally was his 29th of the season, tying him with Tampa Bay stars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis and Atlanta's Marian Hossa for the NHL lead.
Chris Kunitz assisted on Perry's goal to extend his scoring streak to five games.
The Oilers enter the homestand on a high note, as Dwayne Roloson stopped 28 of 29 shots against his former club to lead Edmonton to a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota Tuesday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Marc-Andre Bergeron netted the eventual game-winning goal midway through the second period and Joffrey Lupul also scored to help the Oilers halt a two-game losing streak.
Edmonton brings a solid 13-8-2 home record into tonight's tilt but has lost five of its last six at Rexall Place.
Anaheim has taken both of its encounters with the Oilers this season and handed Edmonton a 3-2 shootout defeat in Alberta on November 28. That victory snapped a 12-game losing streak for the Ducks at Rexall Place.
The Ducks were ousted by the Oilers in five games during last year's Western Conference finals.
01/18 10:55:12 ET