A missed opportunity still stings from Monday, but the Anaheim Ducks look to continue to pick up points and add to their five-game point streak, putting some distance between themselves and the Pacific Division-bottom Edmonton Oilers tonight.
Ducks: Monday, 11/9 vs Arizona.
Oilers: Sunday, 11/8 Chicago. "Goaltending Was The Difference"
With an off-day to stew about the overtime winner for Arizona, created by a blind drop pass, Ryan Getzlaf figures to come out particularly inspired tonight. The Ducks captain has been ruthless against Edmonton in recent seasons, scoring 4 goals (all of them game-winners) with 10 assists in the 14 meetings since the 2011-12 campaign.
Anaheim has feasted on the Oilers in recent seasons, winning the season series every year since splitting it 2-2-0 in 08-09. Over that span the Ducks are 20-3-1 against Edmonton, and have not lost in regulation to the Albertans at Honda Center since April 1, 2012.
The Ducks have the opportunity to jump the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division standings with a win tonight (though the Sharks would retain a game-in-hand), thanks to the New York Islanders picking up a win at the SAP Center yesterday. Anaheim will catch the Islanders on the second leg of a back-to-back this Friday, after the Isles play at STAPLES Center on Thursday. The Arizona Coyotes remain four points clear of Anaheim at third in the division after winning in Los Angeles yesterday; they will face Edmonton tomorrow night.
It's been eight days since first overall draft pick Connor McDavid left the Oilers 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers with a broken clavicle. After putting up five goals and seven assists in his first thirteen games, McDavid helped Edmonton average 2.77 goals per game over that stretch, while the team has managed just one and two goals in their losses to Pittsburgh and Chicago without him. Now with McDavid on the shelf indefinitely, it falls back on the rest of the core in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov to keep the offense up.
Stop if you've heard this before, but there are goalie questions in Edmonton. First it was former-Ducks backup Viktor Fasth that was supposed to stabilize things between the pipes, then former-Los Angeles backup Ben Scrivens. Now it's former Henrik Lundqvist-understudy Cam Talbot and former Islanders farmhand and starter with KHL side AK Bars Kazan last season in Anders Nilsson that have the net. The two have combined for a .899 save percentage while allowing an average of three goals against per game. While better play is needed, it doesn't help that the Oilers defense is once again in the bottom third of the league for allowing shots, shot attempts, and high danger scoring chances.
Two hours before face off we'll have the game thread up, featuring the full Stat Pack, likely with expected lines, and of course your Numbers For Nerds.