Saturday, April 29, 2017

Oilers Survive Late Ducks Onslaught to Take 2-0 Series Lead

Oilers sniper Connor McDavid may have said it best after the Oilers notched a tense 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at Honda Center.

"100 percent a steal," he said. "I don't think we deserved to get that win but we did just enough to get it -- Cam [Talbot] was great as always.

Talbot made 39 saves, including 16 in a third period that was thoroughly dominated by Anaheim, to preserve a 2-1 lead and give the Oilers a commanding lead.

Andrej Sekera opened the scoring with a bullet from the blue line at 1:05 of the first and Patrick Maroon added a greasy power play goal to make it 2-0 at 6:41 of the second. Anaheim has now allowed nine power play goals in six playoff games, including three in the first two games of this series.

In desperation mode, the Ducks tilted the ice in their favor for the remainder of the game. Jacob Silfverberg scored a power play goal at 15:34 of the second to bring them within a goal and they kept up furious intensity from that point on but the only pucks they were able to get behind Talbot ended up hitting iron.

That happened twice.

A Cam Fowler shot was tipped by Patrick Eaves and leaked past Talbot before clanging the post; Fowler would ring another off the post moments later. Josh Manson shot one off of Talbot's mask and there were plenty of other chances for the Duucks to tie it.

In the end Edmonton was sturdy and steady enough to get the win. It wasn't pretty but as McDavid said, they'll take it.

Game 3 is Sunday night in Edmonton.