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Thursday, April 27, 2017

NHL : Pacific Division Rivals Face Off in Semifinal Round

After sweeping the Calgary Flames in Round One, the Anaheim Ducks welcome the Edmonton Oilers to the Honda Center for the second game of a best-of-seven series on Friday at 10:30 PM ET on NBCSN. The Ducks benefitted from a balanced offensive attack throughout the first round, with eight players scoring at least one goal, and team captain Ryan Getzlaf leading the way with 3 goals and 2 assists. Goaltender John Gibson was solid in Round One, as he posted a 2.60 goals against average with a .926 save percentage. The Ducks will need a similar team performance as they face the high-octane Oilers.

In their first playoff appearance since 2005-06, the Edmonton Oilers looked like a veteran team who had been there before. They finished only two points out of first place in the Pacific Division behind the Ducks, and continued their strong play from first puck drop of Round One. They eliminated the San Jose Sharks in six games, a team that many had repeating as the West’s representative at the Stanley Cup Final. Led by phenom Connor McDavid (2 goals, 2 assists), the Oilers will attempt to knock off another veteran squad in the Ducks.

Live odds and lines

NHL Odds: Young Oilers Face Veteran Ducks in Round Two

For a team of unproven playoff performers, the Edmonton Oilers handled the San Jose Sharks and sent them packing after six games. Aside from a 7-0 Game Four loss, the Oilers managed to hold the Sharks off the scoresheet; they gave up more than one goal only twice in the series and will look for a similarly stingy defensive showing against the Ducks in Round Two.

By comparison, the Anaheim Ducks will ice a roster full of playoff veterans. With the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Kevin Bieksa, the Ducks have the experience necessary to frustrate a youthful Oilers team.

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