EDMONTON — The Anaheim Ducks have struggled to score this season, but two goals was all the offence they needed to win a pair of games in Alberta this week.
John Gibson made 21 saves to record his second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season as the Ducks extended their winning streak to three games with a 1-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
Ryan Getzlaf scored the lone goal for the Ducks (15-15-6), who are 4-1-1 in their last six games and also recorded a 1-0 shutout in Calgary on Tuesday.
“We realize that sometimes the goals aren’t going to come in bunches and we’re playing well defensively right now and we don’t need that many goals,” Gibson said. “We kind of adapted that and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau also stressed the success of team defence lately.
“Right now we’re not putting the pucks in the net, but we’re defending well and we’re getting great contributions from everybody,” he said. “It’s one of those things where we could have scored four or five every night, but we’re not putting them in.”
The Oilers (15-21-3) have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight.
“We had our chances, probably three or four really good ones, but they played well and blocked some shots,” said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle. “We knew how it was going to be. Cam (Talbot) gave us a chance to win and we couldn’t find a way to get one.
“Ultimately you need a goal to win. You can’t win a hockey game if you don’t score.”
Anaheim scored a power-play goal with eight minutes to play in the first period, as the puck came loose during a scramble in front and Getzlaf was able to score just his third goal of the season on a backhand shot over Talbot.
Talbot finished the game by kicking out 34 shots for Edmonton.
The Ducks kept pressing, but Talbot was able to keep it a one-goal game, notably making a highlight-reel glove save on a point-blank shot by Sami Vatanen with five minutes left in the second period.
Anaheim held a 25-14 edge in shots after 40 minutes.
Edmonton came close with the extra attacker late in the third, but Shawn Horcoff hooked down Teddy Purcell in front to prevent a goal and the Ducks were solid in front of Gibson with the Oilers pressing on the power play to preserve the win.
“It was just a boring game,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. “We just couldn’t find our rhythm.”
The Ducks are in Vancouver on Friday to face the Canucks. The Oilers play the third game of a six-game homestand on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.
NOTES: It was the second meeting between the two teams this season, with the Oilers recording a 4-3 overtime win in Anaheim on Nov. 11… The Ducks entered the game having scored the fewest number of goals in the NHL, just 66 this season… Edmonton defenceman Brandon Davidson returned from a rib injury, but the Oilers were still without Connor McDavid (collarbone), Rob Klinkhammer (ankle), Nail Yakupov (ankle), Oscar Klefbom (finger), Andrew Ference (undisclosed) and Iiro Pakarinen (upper body)… The Oilers returned defenceman Nikita Nikitin to Bakersfield of the AHL… Injured for the Ducks were Simon Despres (concussion symptoms) and Cam Fowler (knee).