Oilers-Ducks Preview

The Anaheim Ducks face a challenge in trying to maintain their status as the NHL's points leader after losing top scorer Corey Perry.

However, that's not likely to be the case against the Edmonton Oilers.

With Perry now sidelined for three to four weeks, the Ducks seek their fifth straight win when they host the Oilers on Wednesday night in the opener of a home-and-home set.

Anaheim (18-6-5) leads the league with 41 points after a four-game win streak in which each contest was decided by a goal. The margin for error may be even tighter after Perry was ruled out with a knee injury sustained Friday in a 5-4 win over Minnesota.

Perry's 14 goals lead the Ducks and he has 22 points in the last 23 games. He's already missed six contests - including five last month due to the mumps - and Anaheim has gone 2-0-4 when he does not skate.

The Ducks won their latest without him Sunday, getting a goal from Kyle Palmieri 53 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 victory at Winnipeg.

Devante Smith-Pelly, who has 11 points, is expected to fill in for Perry at right wing on the top line.

"Corey isn't going to be replaced, but someone has to go in there and do his job," coach Bruce Boudreau told the team's official website. "Smith-Pelly is a natural right winger even though he was doing well at center. He was the leading scorer in (AHL) Norfolk last year and he was a 50-goal scorer in junior. We know he has good hands."

The same could be said of Ryan Getzlaf, who has 10 points in five games after collecting three assists against the Jets, including one on Palmieri's winner.

The center has 33 points in 30 career meetings with the Oilers.

The Ducks are 17-3-1 in their last 21 against Edmonton and have won eight of 10 meetings at home after scoring three unanswered goals - two by Perry - in the third period of a 3-2 victory April 2.

Anaheim, though, fell 4-2 at Edmonton four days later in a game that featured a combined 66 penalty minutes with six fighting majors and two game misconducts.

The Oilers (7-16-5), tied with Carolina for the fewest points in the NHL at 19, are coming off Tuesday's 5-2 loss at San Jose after winning the opener of that home-and-home 2-1 two days earlier to end an 11-game slide.

"We're getting enough chances to score three goals," coach Dallas Eakins said. "If we continue with two, it's not going to be a fun year. We have to put ourselves in a better spot."

Jordan Eberle scored to give him a team-leading 18 points. However, he's had only two multi-point games this season, most recently in a win over the Hurricanes on Oct. 24. The right wing had two points against Anahaim on April 6, giving him nine in 10 meetings.

David Perron has one point in each of the last five games after finding the net in the last two. The left wing also scored in the latest meeting with Anaheim after collecting five assists in the previous three.

These teams will meet again Friday in Edmonton.

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