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5 Keys: Oilers at Ducks, Game 5

Anaheim hopes Ryan Getzlaf stays hot; Edmonton needs second line to step up

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS at DUCKS

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

Best-of-7 series tied 2-2

 

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers meet in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center on Friday.

Neither team has won on home ice through the first four games of the series.

Here are 5 keys for Game 5:

 

1. Captain Obvious

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf had a tremendous first-round series against the Calgary Flames but has been even better against the Oilers. Getzlaf, who will turn 32 on Wednesday, leads the Ducks with eight points (four goals, four assists) and is tied for the lead with 14 hits in the series, and has won 57.6 percent of his faceoffs.

The Oilers put top defenseman Adam Larsson on the ice against Getzlaf for 9:13 at 5-on-5 in Game 4, according to Natural Stat Trick, but Larsson finished minus-4 and Getzlaf was plus-4.

"The way [Getzlaf] is playing right now, there's not much you can do," Anaheim center Ryan Kesler said.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Rakell finishes Getzlaf's nice dish

 

2. Better starts

Each team experienced a poor start in the two games in Edmonton. The Oilers gave up the first three goals in Game 3 and lost 6-3. The Ducks allowed the first two goals of Game 4 before scoring three straight and winning 4-3 in overtime.

The Ducks weren't a strong comeback team when falling behind early during the regular season, going 4-9-6 when trailing after the first period.

"We have to have a better start than last time and just push it from there," Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg said.

 

3. Oilers second line needs to step up

Edmonton's second line of Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle didn't contribute much in the first-round series win against the San Jose Sharks, and it still is looking to make a difference through four games in the second round.

Eberle has two assists in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games after he had 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in the regular season. Nugent-Hopkins has three assists in the postseason after he had 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in the regular season. Each ranked in the top five on the Oilers in scoring. Lucic has four points (two goals, two assists) in the playoffs, but each goal came on the power play.

"[The second line] has to leave its mark on this series for us to be successful," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Lucic buries loose puck for PPG

 

4. Another replacement for Patrick Eaves

The Ducks forward will miss his second consecutive game because a lower-body injury, and rookie forward Nicolas Kerdiles, who was recalled from San Diego of the American Hockey League on Friday, is expected to move into the lineup in his place.

Ondrej Kase took Eaves' place in Game 4 but sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and has been ruled out for Game 5.

Kerdiles was plus-1 in 11:08 in his only NHL game, against the Boston Bruins on Feb. 22. He grew up about five miles from Honda Center, in Irvine, California, and had a team-high six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game win against Ontario in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. That series concluded Tuesday.

"We think we're getting a player that's trending up," Carlyle said.

 

5. Young defensemen

The absence of defenseman Kevin Bieksa, 35, leaves Anaheim needing to play some younger defensemen big minutes.

That could be considered a liability in the playoffs, but the Ducks have received some of their top contributions from their youngest defensemen: Shea Theodore, 21; Brandon Montour, 23; and Hampus Lindholm, 23.

Theodore is tied for third on the Ducks in scoring in the playoffs with seven points (two goals, five assists), and Lindholm and Montour are tied with forward Rickard Rakell for the Ducks lead with a plus-10 rating.

"They're dynamic young players because they suit, from our perspective, of what's transitioning in the NHL, what type of defensemen is highly sought after," coach Randy Carlyle said. "The ones that can go back and retrieve pucks and move pucks and join the rush and be in on the play."

Video: DET@CAR: Lindholm lifts wrister over Howard for PPG

 

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

Matt 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

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Nicolas Kerdiles

Chris Wagner -- Nate Thompson -- Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler -- Sami Vatanen

Hampus Lindholm -- Brandon Montour

Shea Theodore -- Josh Manson

John Gibson

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Jared Boll, Korbinian Holzer

Injured: Kevin Bieksa (lower body), Ondrej Kase (lower body), Patrick Eaves (lower body)

 

Status report

Carlyle said he plans to keep Perry on the top line with Getzlaf and Rakell. Perry played on the same line with Getzlaf for most of their previous 11 NHL seasons together, but they have been split for most of this season because of Perry's lack of production. Perry had his best game of the series in Game 4, with an assist and a plus-3 rating. "We're going to need more efforts like that, like Perry was able to deliver [Wednesday], from a lot of people in our lineup," Carlyle said.

 

Who's hot

Getzlaf is second in the NHL with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in eight playoff games. Silfverberg is tied for second in the League with seven goals, one behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' Jake Guentzel. Rakell has two goals and is a plus-6 in the past two games. Montour has two assists and is plus-7 in the past two games. ... Draisaitl has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in the past six playoff games. McDavid has scored a goal in the past two games. Maroon has six points (two goals, four assists) in four games in this series.

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