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Ducks @ Oilers RECAP: Salt Melts Edmonton Ice

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Anaheim picks up two huge points to remain in third place in the Pacific

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

First Period:

The game got off to a slow start as the Ducks iced the pucks twice two and a half minutes in. Soon after, Chris Kelly took matters into his own hands and leadershipped his way to the box. Anaheim was going up against Edmonton’s league worst power play unit and sure made them look like it. Anaheim actually had two chances against the Oilers but neither resulted on a shot on goal. Still it was a great start to the special teams part of the game.

A few minutes later, Adam Henrique picked up a goalie interference penalty even though Adam Larsson pushed him into the Edmonton crease. Since the NHL feels bad for the Taylor Hall trade, the refs decided to throw Henrique in the box. Edmonton did not manage to get a shot on net, which gave them a whopping zero after two power play chances.

Then it naturally turned into the John Gibson show.

Ty Rattie had the best chance of the period for either team. He was able to beat Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson into the Ducks defensive end and go on a breakaway against John Gibson. His snap shot went wide to the blocker side so crisis averted.

Later, Marcus Pettersson fell in the neutral zone creating a 2 on 1 for the Oilers. Gibson made the original save on a partial breakaway, but Ryan Strome was left all alone for the rebound. Luckily he threw a backhand off the crossbar. Gibson once again bailed out the Ducks as they were flying out of position in their own end. It was easily Gibson’s best sequence of the period.

Darnell Nurse took a high sticking penalty against Jakob Silfverberg with only 15 seconds remaining. Silf was slow to get up and immediately went to the dressing room. Although he wasn’t bleeding, there was a good chance he needed some repairs to his teeth.

Second Period:

The Oilers struck first early in the frame. Anaheim’s power play was largely ineffective, and didn’t generate much offense. With only a few seconds remaining on the man advantage, Ryan Kesler turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up the puck, and Connor McDavid did the rest. Somehow the puck went right through Gibson so it was definitely one Anaheim would want back. 1-0 Oilers at 1:46.

Welcome back to the lineup, Josh Manson. Only 15 seconds after the Oiler tally, the young defenseman took advantage of an opportune rush up the ice and ripped a slapshot past Cam Talbot’s glove. Manson’s clapper seemed to fool Talbot, which put him off of his angle in the crease. Manson took just a quarter second longer to let it rip just before putting the puck into the far, top corner. 1-1 at 2:05.

The Edmonton Oilers continued to score after a special team’s situation. Right after a penalty to Hampus Lindholm expired, Ty Rattie was credited with the go-ahead goal. Connor McDavid picked up his second point of the game by hitting Matt Benning with a pass at the point. The defenseman’s shot glanced off of Rattie in front of the Anaheim crease and managed to get by a screened Gibson. 2-1 Edmonton at 7:44.

The period just got worse from there. Leon Draisaitl had no less than three one timer opportunities toward Gibson. The Duck-killer was bound to make an impact at some point of the night. He made his last chance from the right circle count. Ethan Bear hit the wide-open Edmonton forward who quickly got the puck past Gibson. 3-1 Oilers at 18:18.

Shots on goal at the end of the period were 14-4 in favor of Edmonton. That accurately reflects how much time was spent in the Anaheim zone.

Third Period:

The Ducks needed a strong third period against a team on their second night of back-to-backs.

The team clearly listened to me as they found the score sheet right away. The top line did top line things and hemmed the Oilers into their defensive zone for over a minute. After cycling the puck the entire shift, the Ducks started their line change while still in the zone. Getzlaf was the first to change for Adam Henrique. Pettersson ended up getting the puck from Corey Perry and threw the puck toward the net. Henrique was there to get a tip on the puck and get it past Talbot. 3-2 Oilers at 1:55.

Who knew all the Ducks had to do was get shots on goal? Corey Perry knotted the score up at three with a great drive down the slot. The veteran winger followed up a Cam Fowler wrap around opportunity, and deposited the rebound into the back of the net. This was a classic goal scorer’s goal scored by a really good goal scorer. For all the flack Perry continues to get this year, he is still third on the team in overall points. 3-3 tie at 5:51.

The Ducks had all the momentum and looked poised to take a lead, but fans do need to remember that this is Anaheim Ducks’ hockey. Nick Ritchie took an offensive zone penalty by tripping an Oiler in front of the crease. On the ensuing penalty kill, the inevitable happened. McDavid found Ethan Bear streaking down from the point and gave him a pass right in the defenseman’s wheelhouse. Bear one timed the puck past Gibson and picked up his first career goal. Yes, the league worst Oiler power play picked up the tally. 4-3 Oilers at 12:42.

Then you also have to remember that this is a Ducks vs Oilers game, which guarantees a Ducks empty net goal. Brandon Montour threw a puck into the crease from the goal line boards and ricocheted it on off of Nurse’s hand and in. It was a bounce that Happy Gilmore would be proud of. 4-4 at 18:31.

The only thing more impressive than a Ducks’ turtle third period is the Edmonton version. The Ducks pulled of a staggering 22, yes you heard me correctly, shots on goal in the last period.

Overtime:

Anaheim clearly had a game plan heading into the extra period. They decided that they would keep the puck behind their net until McDavid left the ice. That meant the puck didn’t leave the Ducks zone for an entire minute. Edmonton fans were triggered. Boos were starting to rain down from the stands.

We all know how this story ends. The Ducks get a late goal with an empty net and win it in overtime. Yup, it happened again. The trio of the Captain, Rickard Rakell, and Hampus Lindholm carried the puck up the ice and picked up a huge two points for their team. Lindholm found a loose puck after Rakell dropped it and made his shot count.

Corsi. Offensive hockey is winning hockey
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The Ducks escaped with a huge win and remain in the third Pacific Division spot. Their next game is Tuesday in Vancouver against the Canucks. Could Troy Terry be a Duck by then?