EDMONTON -- As the Edmonton Oilers collect experience through their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 11 years, they have come upon a lesson that grows in relevance by the day.
During their 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round on Wednesday, the Oilers saw firsthand how costly even the smallest of errors can be.
The Oilers had Rogers Place buzzing with a two-goal lead in the first period but stumbled in the second, watching the Ducks surge ahead 3-2.
[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage]
"The difference here is that you're down to the final eight and the other team gets in the way," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "They're a good hockey club. The eight teams that are playing deserve to be here and they're all very, very strong so you don't get away with a lot."
A goal with 1:42 left in the third period by rookie Drake Caggiula tied the game 3-3, but Anaheim capitalized on some Edmonton puck mismanagement early in overtime, getting Jakob Silfverberg's goal 45 seconds in to get the win and tie the best-of-7 series 2-2.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Caggiula buries late equalizer
Game 5 is at Honda Center on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
"We got the start we wanted, but shot ourselves in the foot in the second period," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "We found a way to battle back, though.
"We had our swings. We carried the pace in the first period and that's a good sign. We found a way to score a huge goal to send it into overtime, and that's a positive."
The good elements were wasted in Game 4, beginning with the crunch of the Ducks improved determination to start the second period.
"Their first one, we had some poor board work and they took advantage of it," McLellan said. "They gained a little momentum at that point."
That was the first of two goals by Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, one McLellan challenged claiming goalie interference. The goal was upheld, costing the Oilers their timeout.
When Rickard Rakell scored at 5:33 of the second to tie it 2-2, the Ducks rush at the Edmonton blue line was very close to being offside, but McLellan had no option to challenge that call.
Getzlaf then scored at 14:25 to put Anaheim ahead 3-2.
"The third one was disappointing," McLellan said. "That took a lot of life and energy out of the building and certainly even more so out of us. It took a lot of work to get back into the game and bring the belief system back up again.
Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: McLellan discusses 2nd period, OT loss
"It was a heck of an effort to get the tying one and then we had some poor board work again (on the overtime goal).
"So [goals] one and four, poor board work, they step inside us and it's in the net."
Caggiula, who was in the running to be a hero in Game 4 for the Oilers, said that he and his teammates are discovering that quick adaptability to the wild swings of emotion and transition from good to bad is a must in the playoffs.
"Momentum can change at any given point in time," Caggiula said. "It's one simple play that can change the whole momentum of the game. We've figured out that momentum doesn't carry from game to game necessarily. We'll have a fresh start for Game 5 in Anaheim and it's a 2-2 series.
"We're doing just fine. We were in this situation before and we know how to handle it."
Caggiula insisted that the Oilers are gaining confidence in their ability to process it all, especially the setbacks.
"We're a resilient group," he said. "We're young and we're hungry. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot again in the second period but to come back like we did, it shows how resilient we are. We just have to play a full 60 minutes and not dig ourselves a hole."
With a 2-0 series lead gone, and wasted positives or not, McDavid refused to show any disappointment heading into Game 5 on Friday.
"We were in this same position last series, tied 2-2 (against the San Jose Sharks)," he said. "We're going into a building where we have had success before. We're comfortable playing there. You never want to play a series where you lose both at home, but that is the case that both teams find themselves in. Now it's a race to two."
Video: Silfverberg, Getzlaf give Ducks 4-3 OT win in Game 4