Ducks’ epic comeback lands them 3-2 lead over Edmonton
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have been preparing for these moments for their entire adult lives. Nearly 14 years after the Anaheim Ducks drafted them together, they’ve built a mental connection that remains indelible through any playoff pressure or defensive determination.
So when Getzlaf found the puck and a sliver of space on the boards in the second overtime of a crucial playoff game Friday night, Perry’s feet moved before his thoughts.
“Right to the net,” Perry said. “He had eyes up, and he had time, and I was yelling for that puck the whole way.”
After the unprecedented comeback required just to get back into Game 5, the Ducks finished it off with one more moment of hard-earned grace from their dynamic duo.
Perry scored 6:57 into the second OT after the Ducks rallied from a three-goal deficit in the final minutes of regulation, completing a spectacular 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers and seizing a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series.
Anaheim became the first team in Stanley Cup playoff history to force overtime or win a playoff game after trailing by three goals with less than four minutes left in regulation, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
While the Oilers cried foul over a no-call of goalie interference on Rickard Rakell’s tying score with 15 seconds left in regulation, the Ducks celebrated their third straight win — and the first home victory for either team in the series.
Perry, who finished with a goal and two assists, collected that pass from Getzlaf and waited out a sprawling Cam Talbot, who made 60 saves.
“That’s will,” said Getzlaf, who has scored 15 points in a spectacular postseason. “We willed it through, and did whatever we had to do. We scratched and clawed at the end and found a way to get ourselves back in that game and give ourselves an opportunity.”
Game 6 is Sunday in Edmonton.
Getzlaf got the first goal of the comeback with 3:16 left in regulation, and Cam Fowler scored 35 seconds later before Rakell put the tying goal through a crowd of prone players to cap a stunning sequence — all with goalie John Gibson pulled for an extra attacker.
On his 24th birthday, Rakell slipped a puck under a crowd that included a horizontal Ryan Kesler making some contact with Talbot. Video review found no goalie interference because Kesler had been shoved into Talbot by Darnell Nurse, and the Ducks celebrated madly.
“I don’t even know what goalie interference is anymore, to be perfectly honest,” Edmonton forward Milan Lucic said. “It’s an absolute joke that especially two really good referees can’t make the right call at the right time.”
Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Drake Caggiula scored during a dominant second period, but the Oilers coughed up a big late lead despite solid play by Talbot.
Talbot acknowledged his own frustration over the no-call, but said: “At the same time, we had a 3-nothing lead with 3 1/2 minutes to go. We had every opportunity to win that game. … They get a lucky bounce there, and it just started to unravel from there. We did a good job battling back in overtime, got a few good chances, but weren’t on top of things.”
Gibson made 35 saves, helping the Ducks move one win away from their second trip to the Western Conference finals in three seasons.
After a disastrous start to the series in Anaheim, the Ducks returned home with confidence and two gritty road wins, including an overtime victory in Game 4.
Edmonton appeared to be ready to run away with Game 5 in the second period. After Draisaitl’s opener, McDavid capitalized on a two-man advantage by adroitly batting a puck out of midair for the fifth goal in his first Stanley Cup playoff run. Caggiula put the Oilers up 3-0 with a score off a 4-on-1 rush midway through the period.
But Edmonton couldn’t hang on in regulation after the Ducks pulled Gibson and one of the most improbable rallies in NHL playoff history.
NOTES: Getzlaf missed the net on a first-period penalty shot. … Edmonton D Andrej Sekera went to the dressing room after a hit from Getzlaf in the first period. … Nic Kerdiles made his NHL playoff debut for the Ducks in the absence of injured forwards Patrick Eaves and Ondrej Kase. Kerdiles, the first player born and raised in Orange County to suit up for the Ducks, made his NHL debut with a single regular-season game in February. … Eaves missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury that had him in a walking boot earlier this week.