ANAHEIM, CA – The Anaheim Ducks scored a pair of goals early in the first period and the Edmonton Oilers couldn’t recover, dropping a 5-1 decision at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.
“We have to give them credit, they played a smart hockey game. Tonight felt like a game that we played two-and-a-half months ago. We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson following the defeat.
“Against a good hockey team like this, when you have a bad line change where you turn over the puck in key areas, they make you pay, And that’s what they did tonight.”
Despite the lopsided defeat, the Oilers carried the play early on, firing the first three shots of the game on Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen.
“I thought we got off to a pretty good start, we had some good zone time then all of a sudden we have a bad line change and they have an odd-man rush and they capitalize. That’s a tribute to them,” Nelson stated.
Anaheim got on the board with their first shot of the game almost four minutes into the contest. Francois Beauchemin wired a shot past Ben Scrivens to make it a 1-0 affair.
“It was a combination of both," Nelson said of the reasons for his team's defeat. "Them being a good hockey team but we have to play the right way and tonight felt like it was a game that we were playing two-and-a-half months ago.”
Anaheim extended its lead to 2-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. Jakob Silfverberg stole the puck from Justin Schultz in the corner of the Oilers zone then quickly threw it out front to Nate Thompson. Thompson made no mistake, quickly redirecting the puck in the top corner.
Shots after the first period ended up even at 7-7.
The first penalty of the game went to Anaheim five minutes into the second. James Wisniewski was sent off for hooking just over five minutes into the frame.
Anaheim carried the play for the penalty kill as the Oilers didn't come close to scoring. The best chance came after Wisniewski left the box. He sprung in alone on a breakaway but shot wide.
A couple minutes later, Corey Perry skated in on a two-on-one with Ryan Getzlaf. Perry tried to pass the puck across to Getzlaf but it was blocked by Keith Aulie. The puck came back to Perry and he decided to shoot. He beat Scrivens on the blocker side to make it 3-0. The point on the goal was number 600 in the career of Perry.
With 10:51 to go in the second, Anaheim went on the power play for the first time on the night after Taylor Hall got sent off for two for unsportsmanlike conduct after he was decked by Wisniewski.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Simon Depres wired a shot from the left side boards that bounced in off Nikita Nikitin and in. The goal extended Anaheim’s lead to 4-0 over Edmonton.
15 minutes into the middle frame, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins received two minutes for holding and Nate Thompson two for embellishment, setting up two minutes of four-on-four hockey. Near the end of the four-on-four, Kyle Palmieri was sprung all alone on a breakaway. His deke attempt was denied by Scrivens.
The play then went back the other way. Jordan Eberle spotted Nugent-Hopkins with a quick feed at the top of the crease right after RNH came out of the box. Nugent-Hopkins made no mistake, flicking it past Andersen to make it a three-goal deficit at 4-1.
Shots after 40 minutes were 19-18 for Anaheim.
A penalty shot was awarded to Andrew Cogliano five minutes into the third after Oscar Klefbom chopped him from behind on a breakaway. On the ensuing penalty shot, Cogliano skated in and did a quick head fake and stickhandle before firing the shot high on Scrivens to put the Ducks up by four.