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Cam Fowler, Ducks say they won't panic against Oilers

Trail second-round series 2-0 entering Game 3 in Edmonton

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- For the Anaheim Ducks, it is looking a lot like last year two games into their Western Conference Second Round series against the Edmonton Oilers.

A year ago, the Ducks had home-ice advantage against the Nashville Predators in the first round and it vanished with two losses at Honda Center. Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was the First Star in Game 2.

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot is pulling a Rinne on the Ducks. He was the First Star in Edmonton's 2-1 victory at Honda Center on Friday after making 39 saves.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage]

 

The Oilers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0 entering Game 3 in Edmonton on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Anaheim is 0-7 in playoff series it has trailed 2-0. The Ducks lost Game 7 against the Predators last year at Honda Center.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm2: Silfverberg roofs wrister for PPG

"There's no panic," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said Saturday. "There's obviously a sense of urgency. You never like to work so hard to establish home ice and then lose the first two in your own building. But there's still a lot of series left."

The Ducks outshot the Oilers 40-23 in Game 2, but Fowler said frustration is not building. He said the Ducks are focusing on what they can do to change the momentum of the series.

"A lot of it depends on how you react to those things," he said. "It'd be easy for us to come in after [Friday] night's game and be frustrated with the outcome, frustrated with one another, just frustrated with the situation that we're in. I don't get the sense from the group is feeling that way right now."

Patrick Eaves said the Ducks eventually will get the bounces if they keep following their game plan, creating traffic in front.

"We've hit a bunch of posts here -- it seems like we've hit the inside of the post a couple of times too," he said. "They're playing well defensively, their goalie is playing well and we just have to find a way through that. We're doing a lot of good things. I think we're playing better this series than we did against [the] Calgary [Flames]."

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle's personnel-management skills have been getting tested during the playoffs. Injuries and illness have forced him to piece the lineup together, often on the fly.

Forward Nick Ritchie was a late scratch for Game 2 because of flu-like symptoms. So a forward with 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in the regular season had to be replaced by an enforcer.

Ritchie, who had been playing on a line with center Ryan Getzlaf and Eaves, was replaced by Jared Boll, who had not played in a postseason game since April 28, 2014, with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The illness apparently hit Ritchie at the last minute.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm2: Gibson dives to stop Eberle's attempt

"He wasn't sick at all," Carlyle said. "It started just before warmups and he actually left the ice. So it was a full-out surprise for him and us."

In Game 2, Anaheim also missed the edge and experience of veteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 1. Carlyle reiterated that Bieksa could return later in the series, saying, "He's going to be out a while."

This means more of an emphasis on the likes of top-pair defenseman Cam Fowler. In Game 2, he played a game-high 27:57, had an assist and came close to tying the game in the third period, hitting the crossbar with 7:38 remaining.

"We've taxed some people," Carlyle said. "Cam is one of our go-to guys. I thought he performed very well."

Fowler injured his knee near the end of the regular season, on April 4 against Calgary. He missed the first-round series against the Flames and returned for Game 1 against the Oilers on Wednesday.

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