Ducks vs. Oilers Preview
Alberta, Canada (AP) - The Edmonton Oilers are enjoying their longest win streak of the season as they get ready to welcome an opponent searching for goals.
The Oilers look to push their win streak to five games Tuesday night and end a five-game home winless streak against the Anaheim Ducks, who have been shut out in their last two games.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Oilers -120 money line NHL odds favorites for Tuesday's game against the Ducks. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 84% of more than 344 bets for this game have been placed on the Oilers -120.
Edmonton (10-12-4) is seeking to win five in a row for the first time since Dec. 3-11, 2009. The Oilers opened a six-game homestand with a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday over St. Louis on rookie Taylor Hall's game-winner.
"We want to build this place to be our home, to be a really good place to play," Hall said. "In order for us to get back in the playoff hunt we need to really do well on this homestand."
The Oilers are 0-4-1 in their last five home games against Anaheim (13-13-3), which has outscored Edmonton 19-11 in those games. The Ducks are looking to break through after being shut out in back-to-back home games for the first time since October 2003, falling 3-0 to Phoenix on Sunday.
"We have to look at ourselves in the mirror," coach Randy Carlyle said. "They're hockey players that are paid to work and do their job, and we have to find a different way to stimulate them - whether it's a kick in the pants, a pat on the back or a day off."
Teemu Selanne, third on the team with 24 points, was scratched from the lineup for the fifth time in seven games because of a groin pull.
Joffrey Lupul, who hadn't played in an NHL game since Dec. 8, 2009, because of back surgery and a subsequent blood infection, made his season debut on Selanne's line with Saku Koivu and Jason Blake for the opening faceoff.
"I was definitely excited. It's been a long time," Lupul said. "I was pretty pumped up. During the anthem and everything, I was ready to go. But once the game started, it was just kind of business as usual. I'm happy to get this first game out of the way. It's been a long road."
Hall, meanwhile, has six goals in his last eight games. That stretch began when he scored in a 4-2 victory at Anaheim on Nov. 21.
"It's more just a comfort level," Hall said. "The linemates I've been playing with have really helped me out. I think it's a lot easier when you do have chemistry with your linemates. From there I've just gotten more comfortable and seen the game in a different way and it's helped out."
Center Sam Gagner has seven points during a five-game run, and enters with a four-game point streak against Anaheim.
Nikolai Khabibulin has started the last two games for the Oilers after missing the previous seven with a groin injury. He's 2-7-0 with a 3.28 goals-against average in his last nine starts against Anaheim.Jonas Hiller has posted a 2.60 GAA in winning all three career starts in Edmonton.
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