The Ducks have been in a major slump. Even the national news has covered it. (And when the national news even acknowledges the Ducks' presence, that is a big deal). The slump appears to have been broken by a 6-3 victory over the Flames last night, but for us, beating the Flames is like breathing and probably doesn't mean much. Furthermore, as we all know, the Flames lead 2-0 until Andrew Cogliano sparked a five goal rally from the Ducks (another example of that pesky we-need-a-major-goal-deficit-to-start-playing-like-we-care trend that the Ducks seem to exemplify). So, basically, don't get too excited about last night.
All pessimism aside, the Ducks are in an excellent place to repeat last night's gaudy score. Tonight's game will be the Oilers' eighth in 13 days, and the club is coming off a dispiriting 4-0 loss at home against the Minnesota Wild in which they managed a meager 15 shots. For other teams, a 4-0 drubbing at home might set the stage for a huge comeback game the next night. But since these are the Oilers (with their 17-33-10 record), don't count on it. Someone remind me why Justin Schultz voluntarily elected to go to this team?
We might see a game of musical chairs in net tonight. John Gibson started in net for the Ducks yesterday, so we might see Ilya Bryzgalov between the pipes tonight. Bryzgalov has not played the Oilers since 2012, but he has a winning record against them, going 6-2-0 with a 2.09 GAA in his last eight matchups against the team.
Former Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth was in net for the Oilers during the first two matchups against his former team this season, but is currently on injured reserve due to a knee injury. We will likely see NCAA product Ben Scrivens in net. Even though his team is terrible, Scrivens is a goalie who is capable of stealing a game: he made 48 saves during a 4-3 Edmonton win against the Ducks in the past.
What Can We Learn From This Game?:
The Ducks' slump has resulted in some interesting configurations from the Bruce Boudreau Line Generator. I am particularly interested in seeing how Corey Perry will be used in this game. Perry had two goals and one assist in the final two games against the Oilers last season, but did not participate in this season's earlier Ducks-Oilers matchups because of a knee injury.
It will be interesting to see if the Ducks' depth forwards continue to drive the offensive engine as well. Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg were excellent against Calgary, and the Ducks are always more effective when they are able to get offensive contributions from people not named Corey and Ryan.
Finally, Cam Fowler, please stop turning over the puck. (And who would have thought that Hampus Lindholm would have developed into one of our strongest defensemen?)
After going high and wide throughout the first two periods, Perry will seal the Ducks' victory with a hat trick in the third period of the game.