After their penalty-kill unit was overwhelmed Monday night, the Edmonton Oilers look to make amends Wednesday with a visit to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Oilers absorbed a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in a penalty-marred game where Edmonton gave up four power-play goals over the first two periods.
The Oilers had six power-play chances themselves but were unable to convert on any of them. Yet they still lead the NHL with a 31.0 power-play percentage.
“I didn’t think we were sharp enough,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said of his team’s power play. “I thought we had some very good looks that we got to and we weren’t sharp enough on some of our offensive opportunities. That’s going to happen on some nights when our power play has operated on the level it has this season.”
Connor McDavid did score a goal midway through the third period in a five-on-five situation for Edmonton, increasing his NHL-leading total to 34. But that merely cut the Kings’ advantage to 5-3 before the Oilers gave up a late empty-net score.
Yet as bad as the final results looked, as Edmonton lost for the fourth time in five games, things weren’t comfortable for the Kings until late in the game. Kailer Yamamoto, who scored the Oilers’ first goal in the opening period, nearly pulled the team within a goal in the final period before his shot clanked off the frame.
“It was tough to get rhythm into the game,” Yamamoto said about the 13 combined penalties. “Certain guys played (penalty kill), certain guys played (power play) and there were (13) penalties in the game. It definitely throws off the rhythm of the game.”
Edmonton goaltender Stuart Skinner gave up three goals on 24 shot attempts before he was replaced early in the second period by Jack Campbell. Skinner flew back to Edmonton on Tuesday for the birth of his child and will not be available against the Ducks. Calvin Pickard is expected to be called up.
During a rough season, the Ducks took another blow to the chin Sunday in a 7-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins. It was the fourth time the Ducks have given up at least seven goals this season and it was their second 7-1 defeat of the campaign.
Standout veteran goaltender John Gibson is having a miserable season with a 7-17-3 record and a career-high 3.94 goals-against average. He has allowed an NHL-worst 98 goals after he was bombarded by the Bruins.
“We didn’t show up,” Ducks forward Max Comtois said after Sunday’s defeat. “We didn’t play good. We let Gibby down and that’s the end result. Consistency has been our issue the whole year and it hasn’t stopped apparently.”
Trevor Zegras scored the lone goal for the Ducks to tie Adam Henrique and All-Star Troy Terry for the team lead with 12.
The Ducks are 3-4-1 on a franchise-record 10-game homestand that still includes Wednesday’s game against the Oilers and a meeting Friday with the New Jersey Devils.
Anaheim is expected to be without forward Justin Kirkland, who was released from the hospital Tuesday following a car crash on the way to Sunday’s game.
–Field Level Media