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5 Keys: Oilers at Ducks, Game 2

Anaheim must contain Leon Draisaitl; second line needs to produce for Edmonton

by Dan Arritt / Correspondent


10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports

Edmonton leads best-of-7 series 1-0

ANAHEIM -- The Edmonton Oilers will try to take a 2-0 series lead when they play the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center on Friday.

Defenseman Adam Larsson scored two goals in the third period and forward Mark Letestu scored twice on the power play to help the Oilers to a 5-3 win in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Here are 5 keys for Game 2:


1. Containing Leon Draisaitl

The 21-year-old forward scored an empty-net goal and had an assist on each of Letestu's goals in Game 1, giving him 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in six games against Anaheim this season.

It's doubtful the Ducks will move center Ryan Kesler, who is a Selke Trophy finalist, away from Oilers center Connor McDavid, whose 100 points led the NHL during the regular season. This will leave much of the responsibility of tracking Draisaitl to forward Jakob Silfverberg.

"I just think we're allowing him too much freedom in the games we've played him," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said of Draisaitl. "He's having too much fun."

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm1: Draisaitl seals win with empty-net goal


2. Penalty woes

The Ducks were the second-most penalized team in the League during the regular season, averaging 11:23 of penalty time per game, but countered that with the fourth-best penalty kill (84.7 percent).

They have the highest average penalty time in the NHL through five games of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (11:48). Their penalty kill hasn't bailed them out though, going 13-for-21 (61.9 percent, last in NHL).

Anaheim also was the most penalized team in the NHL during the 2006-07 season but toned it down in the playoffs and won its only Stanley Cup.

"We're always going to speak to discipline," said Carlyle, who was coach of the Cup team in 2006. "It's just part of the process that has to evolve with your group. We're just harder-headed than some."


3. Dinged defensemen

The Ducks continue to have a revolving door of injured defensemen.

Cam Fowler returned for Game 1 after missing the first-round sweep of the Calgary Flames because of a knee injury. He was minus-2 and on the ice for both Oilers power-play goals.

Sami Vatanen has missed the past four games because of an upper-body injury, and Kevin Bieksa sustained a lower-body injury Wednesday and won't play in Game 2, Carlyle said.

Carlyle said Vatanen is very close to returning.


4. First time behind

Anaheim is trailing in a series for the first time this postseason after sweeping Calgary in the first round. Edmonton was in that position after a 3-2 overtime loss at home in Game 1 of its first-round series against the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers came back with a 2-0 win in Game 2 and eventually won the series in six games.

"We know how we responded and how well we played that next night, so we know what Anaheim is going to come after us with," coach Todd McLellan said.

The Ducks haven't lost back-to-back games in regulation since the first two games of the season.

"There's no panic right now," Kesler said.

Video: Oilers vs. Ducks Game 1 recap and Game 2 preview


5. Missing in action

Forward Jordan Eberle was third on the Oilers with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) during the regular season, and forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was fifth with 42 points (18 goals, 25 assists). Each has one assist in the playoffs, and the other member of their line, Milan Lucic, has three points (one goal, two assists).

As much as possible, the Ducks likely will keep their shutdown line of Kesler, Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano against the top line of McDavid, Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula, so secondary scoring will continue to be a key for the Oilers.

They received that in Game 1 from Larsson and Letestu, but Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Lucic are better suited for that role.


Oilers projected lineup

Drake Caggiula -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Patrick Maroon -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Anton Slepyshev

Matthew Benning -- Oscar Klefbom

Adam Larsson -- Andrej Sekera

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Mark Fayne, Griffin Reinhart, Anton Lander, Iiro Pakarinen, Nick Ellis, Jordan Oesterle, Eric Gryba, Matt Hendricks

Injured: None


Ducks projected lineup

Nick Ritchie -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Patrick Eaves

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Rickard Rakell -- Nate Thompson -- Corey Perry

Chris Wagner -- Antoine Vermette -- Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Shea Theodore -- Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen

Injured: Kevin Bieksa (lower body)


Status Report

Holzer and Vatanen came off the ice together at the morning skate. Theodore was the only other Anaheim defenseman still taking shots at the time. Carlyle did not say who would replace Bieksa in the lineup. Holzer, who was a healthy scratch for Game 1, filled in for Vatanen the final three games against the Flames and averaged 14:39 of ice time.


Who's hot

Draisaitl has seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven playoff games. Letestu has five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games. McDavid has five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games. Talbot is 5-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average and two shutouts this postseason. ... Getzlaf has seven points (four goals, three assists) in five playoff games. Theodore and Rakell each have five points (two goals, three assists) in five games. 

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