Despite what others may say, never count out these Ducks.
Jakob Silfverberg completed another thrilling overtime comeback victory for Anaheim, this time a 4-3 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers in a pivotal Game 4 at Rogers Place that evened this best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
"I took a lap behind the net," said Silfverberg. "I was kind of going for a change. Getzy managed to intercept the puck and I was wide open in front. He managed to find me. Big goal for me and big goal for the team."
The Ducks erased a 2-0 deficit in the first period with three unanswered goals of their own, and recovered from a late game-tying marker from the Oilers, due in large part to the herculean efforts of their captain.
Ryan Getzlaf finished with a game-high four-point performance, and surpassed Teemu Selanne for the all-time franchise mark for playoff goals (36). "It's just another exclamation point on the type of player he's been for our hockey club," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "He's our captain and leader. He's done a lot of things that go unnoticed. Now, in these situations in the playoffs, he's been a guy who has stepped to the forefront. Even the play in overtime, he read that, cut the pass off and found Silfverberg all alone."
Rickard Rakell also scored for the Ducks, who improved to 4-0 in the playoffs when leading after two periods. John Gibson made 29 saves for his fifth win of the postseason (5-2).
Milan Lucic, Connor McDavid and Drake Caggiula scored for the Oilers, while Cam Talbot made 35 saves in a losing effort.
Lucic opened the scoring in this game when he buried a loose puck past Gibson's left pad on the power play at the 15:38 mark. The play started when Leon Draisaitl's cross-ice pass never reached its intended target. Instead, his pass caught a piece of Ryan Kesler's outstretched stick and caromed to Lucic, who was left alone at the right post. Lucic had time and space to jam home his second goal and fourth point of the playoffs, sending the sold-out crowd into jubilation.
The Oilers made it 2-0 when McDavid and Draisaitl worked their magic on a 2-on-1 off a turnover in the neutral zone. It was another fortunate bounce for the Oilers, as McDavid's attempted cross-ice pass hit Shea Theodore's skate and ricocheted back into his wheelhouse, allowing him to send a wrist shot into the top corner past a sprawled Gibson.
After regrouping in the intermission, the Ducks came out and cut the deficit in half when Getzlaf sent a blistering wrist shot past Talbot just 1:37 into the second period. Though the play challenged for goaltender interference on Corey Perry, the call on the ice stood, giving Getzlaf his sixth goal of the playoffs. With the goal, Getzlaf tied Selanne (35) for the all-time franchise lead in playoff goals.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf pots wrister through screen
The Ducks weren't done. Five minutes after Getzlaf cut the deficit in half, Rakell found the equalizer - a nifty one-timer off a heads-up pass from the captain. It was Rakell's fourth goal and seventh point of the playoffs, and his second goal in as many games.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Rakell finishes Getzlaf's nice dish
Riding the wave of momentum generated from the start of the period, the Ducks took their first lead of the game when Getzlaf delivered yet again. The play started when defenseman Sami Vatanen rushed the puck up the ice and into the offensive zone. Looking for a passing lane, Vatanen found Rakell for a one-timer that Talbot stopped. The rebound, however, landed on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' blade. Thinking he had time and space, Nugent-Hopkins held onto the puck long enough for Getzlaf to pounce. After tying Selanne for the franchise lead in all-time playoff goals earlier in the period, Getzlaf's second tally of the game placed him all alone atop the leaderboard.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf finishes rebound for second
The score remained the same until late in the third period when Caggiula chipped a rebound top shelf with under two minutes remaining to tie the game at three goals apiece. The goal came just seconds after the Ducks killed off an Antoine Vermette faceoff violation penalty. It marked the first career playoff goal (and point) for Caggiula in his 10th playoff game.
It took all of 45 seconds for Silfverberg to end this game in dramatic fashion, a one-timer that he sent shortside to even this series at two games apiece. Getzlaf earned the primary assist, his game-high fourth point, to place him in second place among playoff leading scorers.
"We were looking for somebody to be a hero," said Carlyle. "That is what we asked. Somebody's turn to be a hero tonight. We clawed back in this game after being down 2-0. We weren't going to let a little speed bump deter us from our goal, and our goal was to win the hockey game."
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Silfverberg one-times OT winner
This series returns to Honda Center for a pivotal Game 5 on Friday night.