Edmonton Oilers look for more road magic in Anaheim with series tied 2-2

Oilers look for more road magic in Anaheim

EDMONTON — Containing Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, winning more faceoffs and bouncing back from bad breaks are on the to-do list of the Edmonton Oilers.

With their Western Conference semifinal series tied 2-2 heading into Friday’s Game 5 in Anaheim, the Oilers remain confident despite dropping two in a row at home to the Ducks.

Edmonton opened the best-of-seven affair with a pair of wins in Anaheim, so they know they can win in the Honda Center.

And the Oilers were in a similar position in the first round when they were tied 2-2 with the San Jose Sharks. Edmonton won twice to close out the series.

“We’re tied 2-2 going back to a building where we won the first two games,” Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot said Thursday.

“We’re going to need another one of those road games tomorrow night and hopefully we can keep this a road-team series.”

Game 6 is Sunday back at Rogers Place, where the Ducks took the fizz out of Edmonton’s “Orange Crush” campaign with 6-3 and 4-3 wins to deadlock the series.

A Game 7, if necessary, would be next Wednesday in Anaheim.

“It’s about breaking their will,” Oilers forward Mark Letestu said. “It’s not going to be easy. It’s probably going to go the distance.”

The Oilers led 2-0 after the first period of Game 4, but Getzlaf ran roughshod over them scoring twice and assisting on the two other goals, including Jakob Silfverberg’s’s OT winner.

The 31-year-old Ducks captain has four goals and four assists in the series.

Edmonton has to find a way to corral the six-foot-six, 222-pound centre, whom Oilers coach Todd McLellan called “the head of their snake.” 

Edmonton winger Patrick Maroon says it requires getting bodies on, and sticks in front of, his former Ducks teammate.

“You’ve just got to get in his face and limit his time and space,” Maroon said. “If he even has a little bit of time, he can make that pass and make that play.

“He’s been shooting more than usual and that’s the Getzy I used to know. He’s a pass-first kind of guy. I guess they’ve been telling him to shoot a lot.”

The Oilers are young in playoff years compared to the Ducks, but need to summon emotional resilience when they give up a goal or a call doesn’t go their way, said McLellan.

“What I mean by that is they score 25 seconds into Game 3 and we didn’t recover from that real quick,” the coach explained. “It took us half a game. They score the fourth goal and we never did recover off that.

“Last night we’re up by two, we don’t play well for a short period, they get going, it takes us a long time to recover.

“The emotional recovery and the ability to get back on task has to happen a little bit quicker for our team.”

Officials waived off icing just prior to Anaheim’s OT winner, but the Oilers lacked a sense of urgency on that play. Getzlaf had time at the boards to get a pass away to a wide-open Silfverberg.

“I’m not sure why it was waived off. Never did get an explanation,” McLellan said.

“When it is waived off, it has to be the responsibility of the rest of the players to finish out the play, so there’s two pieces. Disappointed in both.”

The Oilers could use more production from their second line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle, which has just one goal this series.

The Ducks have also dominated the faceoff circle winning 60 per cent. 

“You win a draw, you get to control what happens in the shift,” McLellan said.

Selke nominee Ryan Kesler is 100-for-183 in post-season draws. Only Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom (105-for-224) has gone to the dot more in this year’s playoffs.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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