SUN Hockey Pool

More roasted Duck?

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- They followed up their worst performance of the season with arguably their best.

Yet with another encounter against the Anaheim Ducks tonight, the Edmonton Oilers can't admire their effort for too long.

They expect to get a stiffer challenge from the defending Stanley Cup champions this time around at the Honda Center.

"We expect them to be fired up and ready to go for sure," said Oilers centre Jarret Stoll. "To start the game they'll probably be right in our faces and be very physical and we have to come back with that and play our simple and smart road game.

"We've gone in there and won before this year, we just have to go in there and play smart, stay out of the penalty box and just play our style."

In two periods, the Oilers did manage to stay out of the box in their 5-1 victory over the Ducks on Friday. They ran into penalty trouble in the second period, taking four straight minors. Yet, they were able to weather the storm and took control with a pair of late goals in the period.

The five goals matched a season high for the Oilers. Their four-goal margin was a season high as well.

"They're going to be highly motivated, obviously, and it's going to be a great test for us," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "You look forward to putting yourself and your team in that position. The one thing we haven't done all year is go into a back-to-back or a situation like this in a position of strength.

"Normally, we're going in having lost the front end of a back-to-back in a pretty desperate situation. But for the first time this year, we're going into a situation off a win where we're looking to have a run. I think that's going to be an important mentality shift for us."

The Oilers have won three of their last four games heading into tonight and they're still looking for their first three-game win streak of the season. Tomorrow, they'll conclude their two-game road trip by facing the Los Angeles Kings.

"This is big game for them and they don't want to lose to us back-to-back, obviously," said Oilers centre Andrew Cogliano. "We have to go out there and try to get the win again. We can't really focus that it's the same team, we have to look at it as though it's just another game and that we need to get the two points."

"I think we're playing pretty well," Cogliano said. "Other than that lapse in Colorado, I think we're doing things right and that's the most important thing. We have some injuries again and a few guys are going to be out, but the guys that are playing have been focused and are doing a good job."

The Oilers rebounded well after being out-shot 43-13 in a 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche earlier in the week.

They out-shot the Ducks 35-22 in the last contest, limiting Anaheim to one shot in the third period. The Oilers also had five different players score in the contest.


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