The Anaheim Ducks showed a dominating performance over the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday, winning 5-1 and claiming their third Pacific Division crown in a row.
The Ducks, who now have four division titles in their franchise, received offensive production all around most notably from winger Jakob Silfverberg, who was named the first star on the night with his first ever three-assist game.
“Tonight I felt pretty good and got some good chances. I managed to set up a few, too. That helps out a lot with the confidence,” said Silfverberg.
Corey Perry netted his 33rd goal of the season in the second period for his 600th career point.
Ryan Kesler was scratched from the lineup, despite taking a “maintenance day” on Tuesday to recover a suspected arm injury. This was the first game Kesler has missed all season.
Frederik Andersen stopped 22 of 23 shots, surrendering the Oilers’ only goal to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins late in the second period.
After the victory, Anaheim Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about his team’s high expectations.
“I hope [clinching the division is] an expectation. I hope their level is pretty high. That’s where you want it to be all the time because then you’re always striving for more, and you’re never satisfied,” said Boudreau.
This was Anaheim’s fourth straight win, as they continue the push for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Ducks now sit atop the NHL standings with 107 points and three games remaining. However, the New York Rangers are close behind with 103 points and three games at hand over Anaheim.
Now that they’ve clinched the division, the Ducks have their sights set on winning the Western Conference. This would guarantee home-ice advantage through the first three rounds of the playoffs. If the Ducks did make it all the way to the Finals, that is where the Presidents’ Trophy would come in handy, by giving them home-ice advantage as they battle for the Stanley Cup.
For now the Ducks will continue taking it one game at a time, looking to lock into their postseason groove. The Ducks face the Colorado Avalanche Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.