Round 2 - Game 2
Friday, April 28th, 7:30 PM PDT
TV: NBCSN, TVAS, SN
Radio: MIGHTY 1090, AnaheimDucks.com
Your Enemy: Copper & Blue
After all the hoopla about the Kesler and McDavid matchup, after all the talk about Talbot vs. Gibson, and after all the debates about speed against experience, the Ducks found themselves staring at 1-0 Oilers series lead.
The good news for the Ducks is that most of the reasons they find themselves in an early deficit are easily correctable. The team essentially replicated the Calgary Flames of Round 1 by taking too many ill-advised penalties that their struggling penalty kill couldn’t neutralize.
Edmonton’s game-winning-goal in the 3rd period was scored in a similar fashion to Getzlaf’s clincher in Game 2 of the Calgary series, off a skate and into the net. This can also be mitigated if the Ducks can just find ways to push the envelope a bit more in the offensive zone.
The two teams were very even at 5 on 5 throughout most of the game until the second half of the final frame. The Ducks have played much better hockey than that in the regular season and are capable of turning it on at any moment.
Randy Carlyle was brought on for accountability and motivation. He has proved several times over that he brings that skill set by pushing the team to roar back when the back is against the wall. With the Ducks down in the series for the first time in the playoffs, it remains to be seen if Carlyle can help his team respond to tie the series up before headed into the raucous barn in Edmonton known as Rogers Place.
The Ducks figure to be without Kevin Bieksa after the defensemen blocked a heavy shot late in the 2nd period. Anaheim says that Sami Vatanen is also doubtful for Game 2 but “very close”. Expect either Korbinian Holzer or the debut of Clayton Stoner in Bieksa’s place.