The Anaheim Ducks were 21 seconds away from coming up fruitless against a team destined for the draft lottery for the second straight night.
And while the Ducks salvaged a point, it was the Edmonton Oilers who emerged with a 6-5 win in the shootout Sunday at the Honda Center.
The loss comes on the heels of a 2-0 defeat from the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Down 5-3 in the late stages of the game, Anaheim scored two times in the final 21 seconds to force overtime. After neither team scored in the 3-on-3, it was the Oilers’ Connor McDavid who ended the game with his goal in the third round of the shootout.
Rickard Rakell recorded the first hat trick of his career, which included both of the goals in the final seconds to secure the Ducks a point. Ryan Getzlaf posted a four-point night with one goal and three assists, and Corey Perry dished out three assists. Adam Henrique rounded out the scoring with his 19th of the season.
Anaheim was fighting from behind almost from square one — noted Ducks killer Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring only 13 seconds into the contest, though Rakell evened the score 1-1 1:33 later.
The tie score lasted nearly 10 minutes, but it was the Oilers’ Anton Slepyshev who put Edmonton in front 2-1 before the end of the first.
Again, it was the Ducks who answered with the next goal as Henrique buried a shot on a one-timer from past the circle on the power play 1:22 into the second period. Unfortunately for Anaheim, Edmonton’s Ryan Strome tallied the game’s next two goals to give the Oilers a 4-2 advantage early in the third.
The Ducks set the table for a comeback with six minutes left in regulation when Getzlaf’s shot from deep bounced off an Edmonton defenseman and past Oilers goalie Al Montoya to cut the deficit to a single goal. Anaheim stayed within a goal for a whole 1:40 before McDavid slid a pass from the corner to Iiro Pakarinen for Edmonton’s fifth goal.
Rakell kept hopes alive with 21 seconds left after planting himself in the slot and delivering a spin-around goal from the slot after Perry’s pass to Getzlaf from behind the net bounced away from the captain right to Rakell.
Anaheim worked an offensive zone faceoff with 10.7 seconds remaining, down 5-4, when Rakell finished off the comeback and the hat trick. Center Derek Grant tied up his man off the draw, allowing Perry to come to the dot and take the puck. Perry kicked a pass back to Rakell who had two cracks at the net from the slot — the first was denied by Montoya, but Rakell jammed home the rebound to tie the score 5-5.
The Ducks nearly ended the game in 3-on-3 on a wicked shot from Getzlaf from the circle that caught iron. Edmonton had its chances in the extra session too, mostly notably a breakaway try from McDavid where the net was knocked off before the puck crossed the goal-line thanks to hustle from Hampus Lindholm.
Rakell continued his hot shooting with a goal in the first round of the shootout, but Anaheim didn’t beat Montoya a second time. Draisaitl evened things up on Edmonton’s second shot and McDavid finished it off on the third, beating Ducks goalie Ryan Miller with a shot low and inside the left post.
The Ducks drop to 31-21-12 on the season, but move up from the second wild-card spot to third in the Pacific Division by earning one point.
Anaheim is off until Friday when the Ducks host the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. PST.