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Jakob Silfverberg 'tremendous' for Ducks in Game 3, playoffs

Scores three more points in win against Oilers, draws comparison to Daniel Alfredsson from coach Randy Carlyle

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- When Randy Carlyle was an out-of-work coach during the 2015-16 season, he kept close watch on the NHL from his vantage point at Honda Center in Anaheim.

He was impressed with a skilled Swedish player, Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, who reminded Carlyle of another Swedish player.

"When I was unemployed, I spent some time in the press box and watching him play reminded me of Daniel Alfredsson," Carlyle said.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage | Talbot takes blame for Oilers' Game 3 loss]

 

Now Carlyle, who returned to coach Anaheim this season, considers himself fortunate to be getting a much closer view of Silfverberg. The 26-year-old scored two goals and had an assist to help the Ducks to a 6-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Place on Sunday.

The Oilers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 here on Wednesday.

"[Silfverberg] is a tremendous hockey player," Carlyle said. "If you look at the stats sheet tonight, he was all over it. He's the type of guy that's kind of [an] unsung, unassuming individual. But he really is a tremendous hockey player."

Silfverberg is no stranger to success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When the Ducks reached the Western Conference Final in 2015, he had 18 points (four goals, 14 assists). In this playoff run, he leads the Ducks with six goals, ranking second in the NHL behind Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins (seven), and has two assists.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: Silfverberg slots home rebound in front

This was his first multigoal playoff game in the NHL, and he tied his NHL high for points in a playoff game. He had three points against the Winnipeg Jets on April 20, 2015.

The line of Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Silfverberg has been a shutdown line capable of instant offense this season.

Kesler is a Selke Trophy nominee again, but Silfverberg said the line had to grow and adapt this season.

"Our line has been playing together the previous years and we've been thinking a little too much defense," Silfverberg said. "This year, we've been working on our offense. Tonight, we got rewarded for that.

"It's something we've been trying to do the whole year, get up in the play more with our whole line. That was big for us."

Silfverberg was traded to the Ducks, along with Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, from the Ottawa Senators in 2013 for forward Bobby Ryan, interestingly enough, when the Senators were looking for scoring punch to replace the loss of Alfredsson.

Flying under the radar is what Silfverberg prefers.

"He wants to do that," Cogliano said. "I think they should start paying attention to him a little bit more in terms of how good he can be.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: Silfverberg roofs his second goal

"What makes him special is his defensive play. Not everyone focuses on defense like he does and wants to play the game the right way. That's why he's rewarded because he does things the right way."

Carlyle spotted that too before he returned as Ducks coach. Hence the comparison to Alfredsson, who scored 444 goals in his NHL career and had a 103-point season in 2005-06 with the Senators.

"[Silfverberg] had that type of demeanor about him," Carlyle said. "Good on the defensive side but found ways to provide offense. He's a dynamic player, a good checker."

Silfverberg's second goal, at 4:56 of the third period that gave the Ducks a 5-3 lead, was challenged by Oilers coach Todd McLellan, who claimed Silfverberg was offside. It was upheld by video review. Silfverberg said the longer the review lasted, the more nervous he felt.

The often-frantic pace felt like a throwback game. The Ducks led 3-0 less than 12 minutes in, but the Oilers tied it 3-3 at 8:40 of the second period. Chris Wagner put the Ducks ahead for good 48 seconds later.

Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who made 24 saves, was especially sharp when he needed to be with a series of highlight-reel moments in the second period.

"He knows how to stay in those games and keep fighting," Cogliano said. "He made some big saves. He gave up three, but at the end of the day, there was some really big saves that could have blown the game open.

"That's where he shines. When things can go sideways, he usually pulls it together. And we're going to need him to."

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm3: Carlyle on surviving Oilers' comeback

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