Two minutes into the game, McDavid somehow got matched up against the Ducks’ fourth line. Unsurprisingly, this led to a tremendous chance against Anaheim.
But there is some great news. Carlyle is shaking up his defense pairs and does not look afraid to stack his young guns. Fowler with Vatanen and Lindholm with last year’s partner Josh Manson seems like an amazing top four. However, that leaves Clayton Stoner and Kevin Bieksa together to round out the ice time. Their first shift together on the ice led immediately to a dangerous scoring chance against. They remind me of those stereotypical beer league defensemen that are just kind of there but wind up on the ice together. All you can do is watch out of the corner of your eye and hope things end well.
Getzlaf is on an entirely different level this year. He controls the power play and is not afraid to take the body in the defensive zone. Seven minutes into the period, Getzlaf delivered a beautiful backhand saucer pass to the tape of Nick Ritchie. The power forward went in on a mini breakaway and beat Cam Talbot on the blocker side. This made to score 1-0 Ducks.
A few minutes later it looked as if Leon Draisaitl tied the game with a tip in front of the net. Luckily for the Ducks it was waved off for being put in with a high stick.
Both teams got some early 4 on 4 practice in the second. McDavid had a great chance but a big rebound from Gibson pushed the puck up the ice creating a 3 on 2. Fowler took a drop pass from Silfverberg to make it 2-0. Ryan Kesler extended the lead to 3-0 with a powerplay goal soon later. Corey Perry purposely redirected Sami Vatanen’s shot pass. After Talbot made a solid save, he was nowhere near in position to stop Kesler’s rebound opportunity.
Edmonton was all over the Ducks defense tonight and that could not have been more evident than the latter half of the second period. McDavid used his blistering speed to create a breakaway chance against the fourth line (why does this keep happening). Ryan Garbutt prevented him from getting a shot and was lucky not to take a penalty. The Ducks dodged another bullet after Milan Lucic almost converted on a turnover in front of Gibson. His shot hit the post and was cleared out of any further danger. Edmonton got on the board at 18:14 to cut it to 3-1. Draisaitl had all day from the left circle and tried to pass it to the back door. Unfortunately it went off Cam Fowler’s stick and into the net.
Shot attempts were 56 (!!!) to 32 in favor of the Oilers. That’s not sustainable hockey.
Wow what a better start to the period. While limiting the Oilers to zero shots on goal in nine minutes, the Ducks scored on one of their own. Crammarosa led a 4 on 1 charge and gave Vermette an easy bid for a goal. The rookie continues to impress and is really starting to push Carlyle to give him more ice time.
The Oilers had a chance to carve into the Ducks’ lead with a 5 on 3 power play but could not break through. That seemed to be Edmonton’s final stand. Both teams seemed content letting the clock run out and moving on to the next game.
Anaheim will be back in action on Thursday, November 15th against the New Jersey Devils.