Oilers take Game 1 against Ducks 5-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Adam Larsson scored his second goal with 4:40 remaining, Mark Letestu had two power-play goals and the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 in Game 1 of the second round on Wednesday night.
Cam Talbot made 33 saves for the Oilers, who regained the lead when Larsson’s centring pass from behind the net struck Ducks defenceman Josh Manson’s skate and went in.
Jakob Silfverberg and Patrick Eaves scored 1:20 apart midway through the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit and Ryan Getzlaf had a power-play goal for Anaheim. John Gibson made 27 saves.
Game 2 is Friday night in Anaheim.
It looked as if Edmonton had broken open a cagey game when Letestu and Larsson scored 1:40 apart in the third, only for Eaves and Silfverberg to respond with hard-charging goals to erase the 3-1 advantage.
But with all the momentum seemingly against the Oilers, a fortunate bounce put them back in front for good.
Leon Draisaitl added an empty-netter with 1:05 to play to go along with three assists.
After being overwhelmingly outplayed in the second periods of their first-round series against the Calgary Flames, the Ducks were initially able to reverse that trend against the Oilers. Getzlaf put a wrist shot into the top corner 37 seconds into the middle frame for his fourth goal of the playoffs and third on the power play.
Cam Fowler, making his first appearance this post-season after suffering a knee injury in the last week of the regular season, and Ryan Kesler had assists on Getzlaf’s 33rd career playoff goal.
However, the Oilers quickly responded through their own power play.
Letestu cleaned up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shot during 55 seconds of 5-on-3 play to tie up the game. Getzlaf broke his stick on the faceoff, leaving the Ducks at a greater disadvantage before Letestu picked up his second goal of the post-season at 6:22.
Nugent-Hopkins nearly scored earlier on the two-man advantage, his shot hitting Gibson in the mask and then careening off the post into the crossbar.
The series opened in contentious fashion, starting with the anticipated matchup of Connor McDavid and noted agitator Kesler. McDavid drew the game’s first power play when he was tripped up by Kesler following an uncalled high-sticking, only for Draisaitl to give away the advantage with a slash.
Notes: Forward Iiro Pakarinen and defenceman Eric Gryba were the only players among the Oilers’ 10 scratches that played in the first round. … Ducks D Sami Vatanen (upper body) did not go through pre-game warmups or play despite coach Randy Carlyle previously saying he would be “available.” Vatanen missed the final three games of the Ducks’ sweep of the Flames.
Dan Greenspan, The Canadian Press