Anaheim has had to work for its points in the first four of a five-game trip, but it might be rewarded for all the trouble in the finale before heading back to Southern California for its final four home games.
For nearly nine years the Ducks have dominated play in Edmonton, and continuing the trend Monday night inches them closer to clinching home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Saturday's 4-3 overtime win in Ottawa was Anaheim's third overtime game on what's thus far been a 2-1-1 trip with all four games decided by a goal.
Article continues below ...
It didn't look like the game against the Senators would work out that way with the Ducks (41-23-10) trailing 3-0 entering the third period. But Ryan Getzlaf, Jakob Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm all scored to force overtime, and Rickard Rakell got his 20th of the season on a power play midway through the extra period.
“Everyone stuck together,” Lindholm told the team's official website. “Getzy had a little speech in the locker room. He had good words for us to get us going. We came out and played the way we should've from the start.”
On the trip, Anaheim is 4 of 12 on the power play as part of a 15-4-2 span on which it's converted at a 36.8 percent rate, so an overtime double minor felt like a sure thing.
“Our power play has been good lately,” Lindholm said. “Everyone was calm on the bench. We had four minutes. We knew we were going to score. It was a good win for us.”
In the standings, it pushed the Ducks four points clear of San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division and kept them three back of Los Angeles. Anaheim has a game in hand on each, so the division title remains a very real possibility, and especially so considering the coming schedule. The homestand comes versus Calgary, Vancouver, Dallas and Winnipeg, so the Ducks play the West's four worst teams in the next five games.
They're 7-0-1 in the series since the start of last season, limiting the Oilers to 13 goals. Anaheim has won its last four visits to Edmonton as part of a 15-1-1 run there dating to Dec. 27, 2007, with the Oilers averaging 1.76 goals per game. That's likely a welcomed stat for a Ducks team that's given up 13 goals in the last three games.
The Oilers (30-41-7), who only have four games remaining, are beginning a three-game homestand having also given up 13 goals in their last three after a 1-2-0 trip ended with Saturday's 6-4 defeat in Los Angeles. They have managed 10 goals in their last two and did the Ducks the favor of winning 6-3 in San Jose on Thursday.
Patrick Maroon has three goals and two assists in the last two games heading into his first game against his former team since being traded Feb. 29. Jordan Eberle has scored in three straight and five of his last seven, and Connor McDavid has 10 points on the second seven-game streak of his short career.
“When we use our quickness, we can give anybody a tough time,” coach Todd McLellan said. “We have some skill and some players who can dart in and out, and if they're given opportunities, they can score.”
John Gibson has done a good job suppressing that, winning both of his career games against the Oilers with a 0.50 goals-against average and .979 save percentage.
Frederik Andersen has also been effective at 6-0-1 with 1.99 and .919 marks.
Edmonton's Cam Talbot is 1-2-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .941 save percentage against the Ducks.