So far, the Edmonton Oilers had been showing that they can win tight, low-scoring playoff games. And then the third period of Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks happened.
The two teams entered the final frame tied 1-1, with smaller breaks and bounces being the story. Then just about everything happened in the third, with Leon Draisaitl guiding the Oilers to a 5-3 win to take a 1-0 series lead.
Draisaitl ended up with a goal and three assists, extending his point streak to three games (seven points during that span).
He wasn’t the only Oilers player to raise some eyebrows, and actually, the other two starring members were a lot more surprising. Mark Letestu seemed to make the early difference with two power-play goals, while low-scoring defenseman Adam Larsson found the net twice, including on the game-winner.
Phew, that’s a lot to absorb, right? This video captures the wildest scoring stretch of that period, even if there would be more:
While Connor McDavid hasn’t been bad, he’s been quiet – by his lofty standards – so far in the Oilers’ run, and that was mostly true on Wednesday. He ended up with a mere secondary assist in this one,
Yet, that might just be part of the good news for the Oilers. They advanced after McDavid had spotty series against the Sharks, and they just gave the Ducks their first postseason loss of 2017 with Draisaitl and others stealing the headlines.
Things got nasty at the end of this game, with key Ducks such as Ryan Getzlaf being prominently involved. Such moments make it clear that Anaheim isn’t likely to bow out of this one easily (and perhaps not gracefully?) but that should only make for a captivating Game 2.
That Game 2 airs Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN; you can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.