Ducks put perfect December on the line vs. Oilers

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Anaheim Ducks will try to stay perfect in December
when they visit the lowly Edmonton Oilers for Friday’s home-and-home finale at
Rexall Place.

Anaheim is 5-0 this month and will shoot for a sixth straight win when it
takes on the Oilers for the second time in three days. The Ducks recorded a
2-1 regulation win Wednesday at the Honda Center, giving Anaheim its eighth
victory in the past 10 meetings with Edmonton.

The Ducks, who have won eight of 10 overall, are currently leading the Pacific
Division and the entire NHL with 43 points. Edmonton, meanwhile, has a
dreadful 1-9-4 record over its last 14 games and the last-place club enters
Friday trailing Anaheim by 24 points in the division.

The Oilers are also tied with Carolina for last place in the overall NHL
standings.

Former Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth kept Edmonton in Wednesday’s contest,
stopping 32-of-34 shots in the loss. Frederik Andersen needed to make just 21
saves to post the win for Anaheim in his 13th straight start. Andersen may get
the night off on Friday with goaltender Jason LaBarbera having been activated
from injured reserve on Thursday.

Ryan Kesler and Matt Beleskey each had a goal for the Ducks, who are on their
second-longest winning streak of the season behind a seven-game tear from Oct.
11-24.

“We had our hands full tonight and we know we’re going to have our hands full
on Friday because it’s tougher to beat a team two in a row,” Boudreau said.

Anaheim will try to keep rolling without Corey Perry services for the next
month. The star forward has missed the last two games, and on Tuesday the
Ducks learned Perry will be sidelined for 3-to-4 weeks with a sprained knee.

Perry is tied for the team lead with 14 goals and is third on the club with 22
points.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the only goal for the Oilers on Wednesday, as Edmonton
fell for the 13th time in 14 games. Hopkins scored just 53 seconds into the
third period to cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Oilers were unable to record
the equalizer.

“Obviously close isn’t good enough,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We need to find a
way to get that extra one at the right time, make that big play that gets us
the lead. We have to find a way to do that. Close doesn’t really cut it.”

Tonight’s test begins a five-game road trip for the Ducks, who have lost in
their last two trips to Edmonton after winning the previous 11 encounters at
Rexall Place.

Anaheim is 9-3-2 as the guest this season and has won two straight and three
of its last four on the road.

Edmonton is beginning a brief two-game homestand tonight and will host the New
York Rangers on Sunday. The Oilers are 5-9-1 as the host this season and
halted an eight-game home skid when it beat San Jose 2-1 last Sunday.