The Anaheim Ducks make the trip north of the border to take on the Edmonton Oilers in game three of their 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Second-Round series. The Oilers took both games in Anaheim and will be heading home with the thoughts of a sweep in their heads.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson became the hero of game one, after scoring 15:20 in the third round to give the Oilers a 4-3. It was Larsson’s second goal of the night but he wasn’t finished there. He collected an assist on Leon Draisaitl‘s empty goal to finish the night with three points. The empty net goal would go on to seal the Anaheim Ducks fate and the Oilers collected a 5-3 win and 1-0 lead in the series.
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Apr 26, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler (17) knocks the puck away from Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
In game two it was former Duck Patrick Maroon who would go on to become the Oiler’s game two hero after he scored on the power play 6:41 in the second period. Maroon’s goal would go on to become the game winner in a 2-1 win for the Oilers, giving them a 2-0 lead in the series heading back to Edmonton for game three and four. Although Larsson and Maroon are getting a lot of credit for the Oiler’s success, Draisitl is being forgotten about.
Draisitl had three assists to add to his empty net goal, giving him four points, with 3 shots on goal, a + 2 rating, 85.7% face-off win percentage in 20:05 of ice time. Draisaitl had a quieter game two, being held off the score sheet and not collecting a shot on goal. This is following Draisitl scoring six goals and adding two assists in five games against the Ducks. Adding in the two playoff games against the Ducks so far, Draisitl has seven goals and five assists, for 12 points in seven games, averaging 1.71 points per game against the Ducks this year.
Even if Draisitl doesn’t find himself on the scoresheet in game three, he will find himself matched against the Ducks toughest lines, drawing eyes from other Oilers players. Allowing players like Larsson and Maroon to become heroes of the game, or he could go to be the hero of game three and earning the nickname, Duck Hunter.