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Oilers 4, Ducks 3 (OT)

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Anaheim Ducks, with three games left against the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers this season, were probably already counting those chickens.

Well, there are only two left now after the Oilers dealt the Ducks a shocking and costly 4-3 overtime loss on Friday night at Rexall Place.

Oilers captain Andrew Ference scored the winner with 1:09 left in overtime.

The Ducks were playing Edmonton, but their sights were set squarely on San Jose, as both California teams are in a furious battle for top spot in the Pacific Division. Not only does first place guarantee home-ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs, it means not having to meet the big, tough and battle-tested Los Angeles Kings in the first round.

The Ducks came in with 101 points, two behind the Sharks.

Anaheim got right to work, scoring on its first shot of the game 35 seconds after the opening faceoff. The Ducks pressed hard for the rest of the period, too, but center Nick Bonino's goal was all they could get.

The Oilers tied it five minutes later on center Sam Gagner's third goal in nine games. Despite being outshot 12-5, Edmonton made it to the first intermission with a 1-1 tie.

Anaheim dominated the second period, too, at least territorially. They outshot Edmonton 17-6 and had a handful of point-blank chances, but the Oilers dodged bullets all period. Left winger Taylor Hall pulled a puck off the goal line, Anaheim hit a post and goalie Ben Scrivens made a diving circus save to keep it 1-1.

Edmonton did not get its 10th shot until 10:22 of the second period, but the Oilers scored on it to go up 2-1. Right winger Jordan Eberle completed a two-on-one with center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead.

Anaheim squared it before the second intermission when center Patrick Maroon chopped a rebound in at 15:23. Despite leading 28-12 on the shot clock, the Ducks were tied 2-2.

Oscar Klefbom's first NHL goal gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead with 11 minutes to play. The Ducks needed the tying goal from center Mathieu Perreault with 4:30 left in regulation to get to overtime.

NOTES: Oilers RW Nail Yakupov, who has missed six games and counting with an ankle injury, practiced with the team for the first time on Friday. He is still a few days from returning. ... The Ducks' last loss in Edmonton was in November 2007. ... Anaheim ironman and former Oilers C Andrew Cogliano played his 531st consecutive NHL game. He has yet to miss a game in seven years. ... Ducks D Marc Fistric is still being bothered by a nerve issue in his leg. He missed his fifth game in a row on Friday. ... D Anton Belov returned to the Edmonton blue line after missing 12 games with a torn oblique muscle. He took Mark Fraser's place in the lineup. ... After scoring once in his previous 14 games, Ducks C Nick Bonino has now scored in two straight games. ... C Sam Gagner's first-period goal was the 100th of his NHL career.
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