EDMONTON – The Anaheim Ducks didn’t have to do to much to keep their road winning streak intact.
Jonas Hiller needed to make just 12 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and Bobby Ryan had a pair of goals as the Ducks finished a perfect four-game road trip Sunday with a 4-0 victory over the lowly Edmonton Oilers, the team with the worst home record in the league.
“Shot-wise it might have been one of the easiest shutouts of my career,” said Hiller, who now has 11 for his career. “But not getting a whole lot of shots, does sometimes make it tougher to stay focused. They did have a couple of chances. There were a couple of odd-man rushes, and things like that, so it wasn’t an easy night, but it wasn’t a whole lot of work.”
Teemu Selanne and Brandon McMillan also scored for the Ducks (32-21-4), who have won four in a row and six of the last seven.
The last-place Oilers (16-32-8) have dropped three in a row, 12 of their last 14 and haven’t won at home since Jan. 6. Edmonton is now a league-worst 7-17-4 at home, and 0-6-1 in their last seven games at Rexall Place.
“This is the first game, I think, that we have only mustered 12 shots,” said Oilers forward Dustin Penner. “Obviously you are not going to win if that happens. But there were other issues to worry about other than the shot total tonight.”
Oilers head coach Tom Renney was left shaking his head after the match.
“Nothing surprises me with this squad right now,” he said. “We’re talking about mental toughness now. We have people that should be out there fighting for their jobs in the National Hockey League that needed to do more. We have others that have established themselves in the league that needed to take on some leadership.
“We had a team play poorly in front of a young goaltender who has been really good for us this year. They let him down.”
It didn’t take long for the Ducks to get on the scoreboard, putting their second shot of the game past Oilers starter Devan Dubnyk just 34 seconds into the contest. Jason Blake spotted Selanne streaking to the net and put a pass on the veteran’s stick for a redirection.
It was another bad start for the Oilers, who allowed goals on the first two shots they faced against Ottawa on Saturday with Nikolai Khabibulin in net to stretch his winless streak to 14 games.
“When you score early like that, it really set the tone for us,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle.
Anaheim took a 2-0 lead at 15:24 of the second, capitalizing on one of a number of Oiler turnovers with Dan Sexton sending a puck to the net and McMillan tipping it home.
Another giveaway just over a minute later made it a three-goal game. The puck eventually came to Ryan at the side of the net and he lifted his on rebound past a sprawling Dubnyk for his 26th of the season.
The shots were a scant 14-9 in favour of Anaheim after 40 minutes
The Ducks made it 4-0 early in the third as Corey Perry fed a pass in front to Ryan, who made a nice move to undress Dubnyk for his second of the night. Khabibulin came in to replace Dubnyk in net after the goal.
“I thought we got guilty of being too cute at times, but then got a big goal and the game started to go in our direction and we were fortunate we caught a tired hockey club tonight,” Carlyle said.
The Oilers return to the ice on Tuesday to host the Dallas Stars, while the Ducks return home to face the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Notes: The final shots were 22-12 in favour of the Ducks. … It was the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season. Edmonton won the first game before Anaheim came back to take the next three. … The Oilers were without captain Shawn Horcoff for the second straight game due to a bout of bronchitis. … Oilers head coach Tom Renney was back behind the bench after missing the last two games to be with his family following the death of his father. … Hiller hadn’t played since Feb. 2, suffering from fatigue and lightheadness. … Former Oilers defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky has racked up 57 points in 71 games since being dealt to the Ducks last season for Ryan Whitney.