By: Matthew Garcia
Last night was game five of the western conference semi-finals and the series was shifting back to Anaheim all knotted up at two games apiece as the Ducks took both games in Edmonton. Game three saw Jakob Silfverberg lead the Ducks charge as he scored 2 goals and 1 assist en route to a 6-3 victory. Game 4 would see the Ducks captain deliver in a big way as he led the charge by scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. (including the game-winning assist just 45 seconds into overtime to even the series up at 2-2) And, last night the Ducks would be looking to ride the momentum and would be looking to take a 3-2 series lead going back to Edmonton. The starting goalies would be Cam Talbot for the Oilers, and John Gibson for the Ducks.
The Ducks would come flying out of the gates looking to get on the board early as they would begin throwing everything they had at Talbot very early. Anaheim would get a huge opportunity less than 10 minutes into the game as Oilers forward Milan Lucic would take down Getzlaf on a breakaway resulting in a penalty shot. Getzlaf would have a chance to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead as it would be just him vs Talbot, Getzlaf would move in, take a shot, but it would sail up over the net and the game would stay scoreless. Less thn=an two minutes later Anaheim would get another chance to break a scoreless tie as Patrick Maroon would be sent to the box for two minutes on a hi-sticking call resulting in the first power play opportunity for the Ducks. The Oilers would hold off the Anaheim charge on the power play as the Ducks would have possession in the Edmonton zone for the majority of their opportunity but would be unable to get one past Talbot. A little over two minutes later it would be Edmonton going on their first power play of the game as Nick Ritchie would be going hard to the net, crashing into Talbot a bit resulting in a goaltender interference call, Anaheim would be instrumental in killing off the penalty not allowing Edmonton to set up or get any dangerous chances on Gibson. The first period horn would sound and we would head to the locker room the same way we started the game. Scoreless after one.
The Oilers would come sprinting out of the gate this time and it would pay off instantly as Leon Draisaitl would fire the puck up, and over a sprawled out Gibson to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into the middle frame. Ritchie would be on the receiving end of another penalty as now he would be whistled for charging against Kris Russell just 1:25 into the second. The Ducks would find themselves in deep waters as defenseman Cam Fowler would be called for hooking resulting in a 1:23 of five-on-three power play time for the Oilers. This time Edmonton would take advantage of the gift that they had received as Connor McDavid would find a loose puck to the right of Gibson and would pot into a yawning 4×6 net to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the middle period. Anaheim had thought that they pulled to within one as Ritchie had deflected a puck in past Talbot, but would immediately wave off the goal. The officials reviewed it and it was determined that Ritchie had knocked the puck in with a high stick. No goal. A short time after the no goal call Drake Caggiula would be a part of a 4-1 break for the Oilers, Caggiula would hand the puck off to McDavid, McDavid would slide it back to Caggiula and he would slam it home under Gibson to give Edmonton a 3-0 lead at the 12:28 mark of the second period. The second period horn would sound and the Oilers would head to the locker room with a comfortable 3-0 lead and would be 20 minutes away from a 3-2 series lead heading back home.
The Ducks would get an early power play opportunity to draw to within two goals as Draisaitl would be sent to the penalty box for two minutes on a holding call against Corey Perry. Despite getting several shots on net the Ducks would still be unable to get one past Talbot, and would now be left with just over 14 minutes to complete a seemingly impossible comeback. Now with just over three minutes to play in the game Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle would make a bold move as he would pull Gibson to give the Ducks an extra attacker in hopes that they would be able to start a rally. At the 16:44 mark of the final period Getzlaf would take a pass from Silfverberg, fire a shot from the point that would find its way past the glove hand of Talbot and into the back of the net to get Anaheim to within two goals with 3:16 left to play in the game. 35 seconds later Fowler would take a pass from Silfverberg and would snap a shot from the blue line past four players in front of the net, under Talbot and in to get the Ducks to within a goal with 2:41 remaining in the game. The Oilers would get a chance to stop the Ducks rally as Benoit Pouliot would tip a shot on net that Gibson would get a piece of before going off the post. Now, with less than a minute to go in the game, Carlyle would once again pull the goaltender for the extra attacker and a scramble would occur in front of Talbot where Rickard Rakell would find a loose puck and slam it home underneath the Oilers goaltender to tie the game with just 15 seconds left. Edmonton would use their coaches challenge as Todd McLellan thought that Talbot had been interfered with and had no opportunity to play the puck. Upon review it was determined that Darnell Nurse had initiated contact with Kesler, knocking him into Talbot, therefore, resulting in a good goal. The third period horn would sound and the Ducks have forced overtime scoring three goals in a 3:01 time span.
The first overtime period was not enough, as Talbot turned aside 14 Anaheim shots, while Gibson turned away nine Edmonton shots to keep the game going as we head into double overtime of Game 5. Anaheim would come out into the second overtime period flying as they out possessed the Oilers heavily in the opening minutes of the second overtime period as they would get the first five shots on net less than four minutes into the period. Anaheim would continue playing their possession game and it would pay off as the Ducks’ forecheck would cause a turnover deep in Edmonton territory and Getzlaf would find Perry open in the middle of the left face-off circle and Perry would not let his opportunity go to waste as he would outwait Talbot before sliding it around him and into the back of the net to complete the comeback for Anaheim. Now, with the series shifting back to Edmonton the Ducks have the chance to move on to the third round of the playoffs with a win on Sunday.
Final Score: Edmonton-3 Anaheim-4
Anaheim would find themselves in a deep hole entering the third and final period of play, but the resiliency that they have shown through this series and last series proved to be the thing that turned the tide as the captain for Anaheim started the monumental comeback before his “twin” potted the game-winning goal in the second overtime period. The Ducks have a chance to close out the series on Sunday as the Oilers will host the Ducks for game six of the western conference semi-finals in what is a do-or-die game for Edmonton.
The Anaheim Ducks are the only team in NHL history to rally from a three goal deficit with less than four minutes left in regulation.
Ran Getzlaf scored another goal in this game, he leads the Ducks all-time in playoff goals scored(37).
Nic Kerdiles played in his first NHL playoff game.
Game 6: Anaheim @ Edmonton Sunday, May 7th at 4 PM PT.
Watch highlights of the Ducks comeback on Katella!
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May 6th, 2017