Oilers vs. Ducks Preview
The Western Conference-worst Oilers have lost six in a row overall and 30 of 34 on the road as they face Anaheim on Sunday.
The Ducks (10-9-3) had a season-high 50 shots Friday night but couldn't avoid a fourth consecutive defeat, falling 4-3 to Columbus.
Oddsmakers from online sports book BroburySports.com have made the Ducks –196 money line favorites for Sunday's game against the Oilers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 65% of more than 57 bets for this game have been placed on the Ducks -196.
"When you get 50 shots, you should get more than three goals," forward Bobby Ryan said. "And that falls on us - not on (Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason) being so good. It's frustrating, obviously, but we've been on the other end of that, too."
Anaheim had totaled 19 goals while winning its previous six before the current skid, which has included seven goals in four one-goal defeats - two in overtime.
"When it rains, it pours," captain Ryan Getzlaf told the Ducks' official website. "When you're scoring, all those things go in all the time. It's just a situation where you have to keep after it, keep shooting pucks and they will go in."
It may help that Edmonton (4-10-4) has been all but incapable of stopping pucks on the road. Opponents have averaged 4.3 goals while the Oilers have gone 4-25-5 away from home since Dec. 23 - including a 7-2 loss at Anaheim on April 11 that completed the Ducks' four-game sweep of the season series.
The Oilers have allowed 25 goals during their current four-game road skid, part of a six-game overall slide that continued with Friday night's 4-3 shootout loss to visiting Phoenix.
Although Edmonton blew a 3-0 lead, coach Tom Renney was still encouraged after his team lost the previous five games by a combined 30-8.
"It's an upgrade," Renney said. "We have to keep ratcheting this thing up because we still lost the game, but we certainly played better than we have been."
More improvement may be difficult at Anaheim, where the Ducks are 7-2-1 this season and 132-56-27 since the lockout - the NHL's fifth-best home record in that stretch.
Also, Anaheim's Jonas Hiller is 5-1-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average against the Oilers.
Edmonton remains without starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who is dealing with a groin injury. Devan Dubnyk made 39 saves against Phoenix but fell to 0-0-3.
The Oilers hope for a boost from defenseman Ryan Whitney, who leads the team with 16 points - all assists. In two games against Anaheim since the Ducks traded him to Edmonton with a draft pick for Lubomir Visnovsky on March 3, Whitney has one goal and three assists.
Visnovsky leads the Ducks in ice time and is tied with Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne for the team lead with 14 assists, helping to anchor a revamped Anaheim defense that lost Scott Niedermayer and James Wisniewski in the offseason.
Selanne's status is unclear after the 40-year-old winger left Friday's game with a groin injury.
Getzlaf and Corey Perry may be able to pick up the slack. Getzlaf has four goals and five assists in his last three games against Edmonton, while Perry has four goals and three assists during a five-game overall point streak.