Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Ducks withstand Oilers rally, pull back into series

Kristopher Love | 01 May, 2017, 11:54

Rickard Rakell scored on the game's first shift, 25 seconds in after getting behind Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell for Ryan Getzlaf's home-run pass to score the fastest-ever Ducks' playoff goal.

Anaheim reclaimed the lead just 48 seconds later when Wagner stuck a shot through Talbot's legs to make it 4-3.

Equal footing hasn't been reached in this best-of-7 Western Conference second-round series but the Ducks are still standing Sunday night as they withstood the Oilers' rally and emerged from a sold-out and often-loud Rogers Place with a 6-3 win. It may not have been pretty but thanks to a quick start, another huge goal from the power play and a stellar performance from netminder Cam Talbot, the Edmonton Oilers are heading home with a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Anaheim Ducks and have yet to play a complete 60 minutes. "Lars gets a lucky goal, it was a nice way to push back".

As the leader in points, I would say that he's the clear favorite.

"You can't sit back and receive", he said. "It got us through the toughest period of the hockey game for us".

The ABM (anyone but McDavid) game nearly worked.

Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle's favourite pre-game line is: "This is the biggest game of the year", but he strangely didn't offer it up to the media Sunday morning, when it actually was.

"The first two periods were tight, but actually I thought it was tight the whole game", Eaves said. There's going to be ups and downs throughout every playoff game, every series.

The best thing about Talbot is doesn't take long to recognize if he is on his game or is likely to have one of those nights in which he is going to have to battle from start to finish. John Gibson made 21 saves for the Ducks. Talbot also had two shutouts in Edmonton's first-round victory over San Jose. "That doesn't mean that we don't want him scoring goals".

Then the Ducks, within a minute, generated an odd-man rush that culminated in Silfverberg's goal off a shot by Andrew Cogliano. He has three goals and six points in nine games, which obviously isn't bad, but it's not up to the level that we would expect from a player of his caliber. Ducks D Kevin Bieksa sat out a second straight game with a lower-body injury.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored a power-play goal late in the first period and then connected for the game-winner with 3:51 left in the third period to lift St. Louis over Nashville. "It's a good goal for us".

McLellan said that left winger Drake Caggiula, who left Game 2 with an undisclosed ailment and did not return, is "OK". "Tonight we did a good job of staying calm, sticking with the system, and we got a bounce".

A tightly played game suddenly took flight in the third period.

Wagner got the Ducks back in front as he took a shot from the right circle that Talbot tried to make a stick save on but saw the puck deflect inward behind him.

Anaheim gradually turned the period in its favor, but couldn't score.

In building on that initial advantage and protecting the lead after Silfverberg scored, the Oilers showed a knack for making the critical plays. He made several excellent saves with the Ducks up a goal in the second period.

The Ducks kept up their pressure and finally beat Talbot on the power play with a typically wicked wrist shot by Silfverberg.

"It's a good test", said Getzlaf, who has seven points in five playoff games. A few minutes later, Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler rang one off the post as well.