Oilers-Ducks Preview

The Associated Press

After earning a pivotal victory, the Anaheim Ducks will try to move closer to a Pacific Division title by continuing their recent dominance over the Edmonton Oilers.

With the statuses of captain Ryan Getzlaf and goaltender Jonas Hiller unclear, the Ducks will try to win the first of three meetings with the Oilers over the next two weeks Monday night.

Despite being short-handed, the Ducks picked up two key points Sunday with a 4-3 shootout win over visiting Los Angeles. Anaheim (26-8-5) blew three one-goal leads and gave up the tying score with 3:45 left in regulation, but still managed to move nine points ahead of the Kings in the division with nine games left.

"Every time we can gain points, that means it's harder for both San Jose and L.A. to catch us," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's an important issue to try to get as high as you can and set the bar high for future years, and to have home-ice advantage in the playoffs."

Getzlaf missed his second straight game Sunday with a lower-body injury suffered in a win over Dallas on Wednesday. The Ducks' leading scorer has 11 goals - his most against any non-division team - and 16 assists in 23 career matchups with Edmonton.

Hiller, who has been dealing with an illness and hasn't played since March 31, served as a backup to Viktor Fasth in the win over Los Angeles.

It's unclear who will start in net for Monday's first meeting of the season with Edmonton. The Oilers (16-15-7) are still driving for their first playoff berth since reaching the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, and are four points behind eighth-place Detroit.

Edmonton hasn't helped itself lately, losing the past two games by a combined 8-1 margin. Before those back-to-back defeats, the Oilers had outscored opponents 25-7 during a season-high five-game winning streak.

Edmonton was outshot 39-24 - and 17-5 in the second period - in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Los Angeles.

"You don't win the Stanley Cup if you don't find ways to continually raise your level as you go along, and that's something we're learning to do," center Sam Gagner said. "I think guys have figured that out the more they play in these games, but we have an opportunity here. We've got 10 games left to fight our way back into it."

The Oilers won't have it easy in their push for the postseason as seven of their final 10 games come against teams currently in the Western Conference's top six. After Monday's game, though, Edmonton plays seven of its last nine at home.

The Oilers will face the Ducks in back-to-back home games April 21-22.

"We've got a tough schedule, but we've got some home games coming up as well. It's just important to get points every game, no matter what it takes," forward Jerred Smithson said.

Edmonton will first try to get two points against Anaheim, winner in 11 of the past 13 matchups. The Oilers, though, came away with a 2-1 victory in their most recent visit to the Honda Center on April 1, 2012.

Anaheim's Bobby Ryan has scored five goals in his previous five games against Edmonton.

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