The Memorial Cup continued on Monday with Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl playing a big role in the Kelowna Rockets’ 7-3 victory over Rimouski Oceanic.
Draisaitl assisted on the opening goal and found the back of the net twice. Teammates Gage Quinney and Nick Merkley also scored two goals each for Kelowna. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Frederik Gauthier had a goal and an assist in the losing effort.
Kelowna has improved to 1-1 in the tournament while Rimouski has fallen to 0-2. The Oshawa Generals lead the pack after winning their first two games and they’ll look to continue that tomorrow against Kelowna.
Draisaitl played in 37 games with Edmonton this season before he was returned to the juniors. He went on to record 19 goals and 53 points in 32 regular season games with the Rockets.
Draisaitl is arguably the Oilers’ best forward prospect, but that’s obviously only if you don’t count the undrafted Connor McDavid.
The Anaheim Ducks got off to a hot start tonight and that continued late in the first period when Sami Vatanen scored off of the faceoff:
Ryan Getzlaf assisted on that marker, which gives him 18 points in 14 contests. That’s put him in a tie for the Anaheim Ducks’ franchise record for playoff points in a single year with, well, himself. Getzlaf set the record in 2009 with 18 points in 13 contests, per the Ducks’ Twitter feed. He also recorded a team-leading 17 points in 2007 when Anaheim won the Cup.
With the Western Conference Final tied at 2-2, Game 5’s opening period was very one sided. Chicago managed just three shots on goal to Anaheim’s 11, although that was largely because the Blackhawks were missing the net entirely or having its shots blocked by Anaheim. In terms of shots attempted in 5-on-5 play, the frame was actually even as you can see per War on Ice:
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau mixed up Anaheim’s lines in the hopes of sparking the team and it did exactly that.
Defenseman Cam Fowler found the back of the net at 5:10 of the first period and then Ryan Kesler redirected a shot from Jakob Silfverberg to beat Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford again a mere 32 seconds later.
You can see both goals below:
That’s huge for Anaheim, which hasn’t entered the first intermission with the lead since Game 1 of the series. At the same time, the Ducks have to be painfully aware that Chicago can never be ruled out. After all, Anaheim netted three goals in the span of just 37 seconds in the third period of Game 4 to take a late one-goal lead, but Chicago still managed to win that contest in double overtime.
Chicago and Anaheim had two wins each going into tonight’s game.
After losing Game 4 in double overtime, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau admitted that he was considering lineup changes and sure enough Anaheim has a different look tonight.
Veteran forward Tomas Fleischmann has been inserted into the lineup while 22-year-old Emerson Etem is a healthy scratch, but that wasn’t the only alteration. Fleischmann started on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg. That’s in contrast to the pregame line rushes where Fleischmann was skating with Jiri Sekac and Rickard Rakell. The last minute switch might have been a deliberate attempt by Boudreau to throw off Chicago.
This is Fleischmann’s fifth appearance in the 2015 playoffs and his first game since May 10. The last time Boudreau used him, the 31-year-old forward only ended up logging 8:52 minutes, so it will be interesting to see if he concedes his top-six spot as the game goes on.
Etem has three goals in 11 contests, including a marker on Saturday.
Of all the pleasant surprising during the 2014-15 campaign, Mark Stone was one of the biggest. He tied for the rookie scoring title with 64 points, including 26 goals, in 80 games. If not for his efforts, Ottawa probably wouldn’t have been able to squeak into the playoffs.
His ability to help the Senators in their postseason series against Montreal was limited though by a microfracture in his right wrist he sustained from a slash by P.K. Subban in the second period of Game 1. Stone played through the injury, but needed to freeze his wrist before and sometimes again during each game.
“It was just frustrating not being able to feel parts of my wrist and parts of my fingers,” Stone told the Winnipeg Sun. “It definitely didn’t help my shot, but I was able to play through it.”
He still recorded four assists in the six-game series, but he was limited to nine shots on goal and didn’t find the back of the net.
The slash itself spark a controversy that intensified after Senators GM Bryan Murray claimed Subban had been threatening Stone, which is something the Montreal defenseman denied.
That all aside though, Stone can see the silver lining in Ottawa’s first round defeat.
“Going down 0-3, you don’t come out of that too often,” he said. “But we continued to push and everybody learned what it took to win a playoff series.”
The hope is that the Senators can apply that knowledge next season.