Now that they've fallen out of the Western Conference playoff race, maybe the Anaheim Ducks have started to relax.
Corey Perry scored a pair of third-period power-play goals 1:35 apart and Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 shots to lead the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, their fifth consecutive win at Rexall Place.
"We talked before the game, and every game we want to go out and we want to have fun," Perry said. "We want to get the points, but at the same time, it has to be fun. That's what we've been preaching the whole year, pretty much. When we're having fun we're a tough team to beat and that's how we play."
George Parros also scored for Anaheim, which is 11 points out of a playoff spot with only eight games remaining.
Edmonton received goals from Gilbert Brule and Marc Pouliot but saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. Jeff Deslauriers finished with 37 saves.
"It started off looking exactly like it was, two teams out of the playoffs and not caring how much they worked for the night," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "If we have an attitude like that, even one single guy, then we have losers. That's the attitude you don't want any time. You can be in 30th. But you don't have to like it or play like a 30th place guy."
It was a 1-1 game more than halfway through the third period when the Ducks received a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds after penalties to Oilers defensemen Ryan Whitney and Taylor Chorney.
Perry converted the two-man advantage with 7:30 remaining and struck for another power-play goal with 5:55 left, both set up by Teemu Selanne.
"It's tough to say but our chances have slimmed down and we know that," Perry said. "But there are a lot of guys that are working for jobs and we're coming in every night and working hard and continuing to push. That's our attitude. Never say no. It can be tough mentally but you have to go out there and play your game. It's not over until you've played all 82 games."
The second goal turned out to be the game-winner after Pouliot scored on a 6-on-3 power play for the Oilers with 20 seconds to play. Ducks defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Sheldon Brookbank had been sent to the penalty box and Deslauriers was pulled from the net for an extra attacker.
Parros opened the scoring 8:18 into the first with his third of the season, as he put a wrist shot from between the circles past Deslauriers with a crowd in front.
Brule knotted things up with his 16th goal at 5:52 of the second, beating McElhinney on his glove side.
"Quite honestly, I felt neither team came out with much of a sense of urgency," Oilers defenseman Jason Strudwick said. "There were small bursts from both squads and they got their power-play goals and that was the difference."
Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.