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Oilers drop third straight as Vatanen, Getzlaf lead Ducks in 4-2 win

12/13/2014 12:21 EST | Updated 02/11/2015 05:59 EST
EDMONTON - You can tell things are going well for a team when it can be upset with a win.

Sami Vatanen and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and an assist as the league-leading Anaheim Ducks ran their winning streak to six straight games with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Kyle Palmieri and Nate Thompson also scored for the Ducks (20-6-5) who have won nine of their last 11 games.

The Ducks, however, allowed the Oilers back into the game after holding a 3-0 victory and it was clear the Anaheim players were not thrilled with that comeback.

"If you look around the league, there are a lot of three-goal leads and two-goal leads where the other team catches up," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. "I think it's because it's difficult to keep your foot on the pedal for 60 minutes and just keep going and keep going. But it's something that hopefully before game 82 is done that we learn how to do.

"We're going to have to play 60 solid minutes if we make the playoffs."

Getzlaf agreed that his team needs to work on putting teams away.

"If you want to be an elite team in this league you have to learn to just do it," he said. "Regardless of what the situation is, we just have to do what we do and continue on. We're learning things, learning steps and hopefully our group can learn things from our last two games."

Tyler Pitlick and Jeff Petry replied for the Oilers (7-18-5), who have lost three in a row and 14 of their last 15 games.

The Oilers are 1-15-4 against Western Conference opponents this season.

"They are the best team in the league and for the most part I felt we played with them," said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. "At the start of the second we gave them two Grade A chances. I feel like I have said this eight times this year, but it was just a couple of shifts that killed us. It was tough to get those goals back."

Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins said he can't figure out his team's tendency to have sluggish starts to games.

"I wish I had a solution for it," he said. "It's something that we talk about, our leaders talk about. In the first period I thought we looked tired. It was our fourth game in six nights. I'm not using that as an excuse though. You have to play the game, have to manage the game."

Anaheim started the scoring five minutes into the first period as Vatanen walked in from the point on the power play and sent a wrist shot cleanly past Oilers starting goalie Viktor Fasth.

The Ducks came close to taking a two-goal lead 10 minutes later as Andrew Cogliano had Fasth beat, but his shot rang off the post.

Anaheim had 10 first-period shots, while the Oilers could only muster three on Ducks starter Frederik Andersen.

The Ducks very quickly went ahead 3-0 with goals just 44 seconds apart to start the second period.

Off the opening face-off of the middle frame, Vatanen sent Palmieri in alone through a confused-looking Oilers defence and he made the most of the breakaway just seven seconds in.

Palmieri said it was a set play that his team has been working on.

"We've been waiting to try it for a couple of games and lucky enough, (Ryan Kesler) won the face-off clean and Sami made a great pass and I was in all alone," he said. "A lot of things have to happen in order for that play to work. We've tried it a couple of times before and something always seems to go wrong."

Then, 51 seconds into the second period, Rene Bourque dropped a pass to an uncovered Getzlaf, who cleanly beat Fasth with a quick shot.

"They were mistakes that we shouldn't be making, a breakaway and a bad change and a three-on-two," said Oilers forward David Perron. "It is very frustrating, for sure."

Ben Scrivens came in to replace a visibly upset Fasth, who allowed three goals on 12 shots. Fasth threw his mask and then appeared to be calling out his teammates when he got to the bench.

"Basically I said 'You've got to wake up,'" Fasth said.

The Oilers finally got on the board with just under five minutes to play in the second as Pitlick gained the zone and beat Andersen with a stick-side shot from near the face-off dot for his first goal of the season.

Getzlaf looked to have scored his second of the night five minutes into the third, but the puck stayed on the goal-line before Scrivens was able to swat it to safety.

Edmonton made it 3-2 with a rare power-play goal with 7:20 remaining in the third period as a Petry point shot deflected off the stick of defender Devante Smith-Pelly and past Andersen.

The Ducks sealed the victory with a late empty-net goal from Thompson.

Notes: It was the second of four games between the two teams this season, coming off the heels of the Ducks' 2-1 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday in Anaheim. The Oilers won both of their home games against the Ducks last season. … In their first 29 games, the Oilers scored a Western Conference-low 63 goals. Only the Carolina Hurricanes (60), Florida Panthers (58) and Buffalo Sabres (52) had scored fewer. … Ducks defenceman Ben Lovejoy made his return to the lineup after missing 21 games with a broken finger that occurred on Oct. 26 against San Jose. … Earlier in the day, the Oilers transferred winger Jesse Joensuu to SC Bern of the Swiss Elite League. … Out injured for Anaheim were Corey Perry (knee), Francois Beauchemin (finger), Eric Brewer (foot), John Gibson (groin) and Dany Heatley (groin). … Missing from the Oilers lineup were Benoit Pouliot (foot), Boyd Gordon (back) and Nikita Nikitin (back).

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