The Connor McDavid Show suddenly gave way to the Ryan Getzlaf Show in Game 4 between the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks.
After McDavid and the Oilers skated the visitors into the ice in the opening period, gaining a two-goal lead and firing up the home crowd, the 31-year-old Getzlaf was the catalyst for a dominant second period from the Ducks, who outshot Edmonton 21-5 in that span and took the lead.
They have also come back to tie the series 2-2 with a 4-3 overtime victory on Wednesday. Getzlaf wasn’t the overtime hero. That title belonged to Jakob Silfverberg.
But Getzlaf had the primary assist on the winner, setting up a wide open Silfverberg — how was he so wide open? — for a slap shot blast 45 seconds into the overtime. That capped off a four-point night — two goals and two assists — for Getzlaf, who was sensational.
Sure, there was controversy.
Getzlaf’s first goal of the night was challenged by Oilers coach Todd McLellan because of Corey Perry‘s, um, presence right in front of Cam Talbot. But officials determined after a rather lengthy review that there was no goaltender interference, resulting in the goal.
That first Anaheim goal also resulted in Oilers forward Jordan Eberle getting pushed down through the lineup. He was, per multiple accounts, demoted to the fourth line following that shift.
This underlines an increasingly important issue for the Oilers, as this series shifts back to Anaheim for Game 5:
As pointed out by David Amber of Sportsnet, Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have yet to score a goal in these playoffs. Eberle has just two assists and Nugent-Hopkins has three assists, which is underwhelming to say the least, especially for two players pulling in $6 million per year.
McLellan has already singled out Eberle for his lack of production in these playoffs, and kept the 26-year-old forward to 11:39 of ice time in Game 4.
More production from those two forwards, one would think, would also help alleviate the pressure on Connor McDavid and give the Ducks more to worry about beyond Edmonton’s star.
Game 5 goes Friday in Anaheim.