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Ryan Getzlaf raises level of play for Ducks in Game 4 win

Captain has four points against Oilers, helps Anaheim even series

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- The Stanley Cup Playoff performance of Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is starting to test the memory of his coach and the vocabulary of his teammates.

Simply put, it's been superb.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks vs. Oilers series coverage | Campbell: Oilers waste positives from Game 4]

 

Getzlaf scored twice and had two assists to help the Ducks to a 4-3 overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Rogers Place on Wednesday. The winning goal came 45 seconds in, a one-timer from Jakob Silfverberg, set up by Getzlaf, of course.

"He's been the difference in this series for us," forward Andrew Cogliano said. "When he starts playing like he can, I think our whole team just follows suit. There's no word to describe how good he's been."

Getzlaf had his first multigoal NHL playoff game and surpassed Teemu Selanne (35) for the franchise lead in postseason goals (36). It was his second four-point playoff game. He had a goal and three assists in Game 1 of the second round against the Calgary Flames in 2015.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf pots wrister through screen

This was his 112th playoff game. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was behind the bench for Getzlaf's first one in 2006 and the team's Stanley Cup championship in 2007. He was fired in 2011 and hired again on June 14.

It's a long way of saying he has seen plenty of Getzlaf in playoff mode, but this might be his best sustained run of brilliance.

"When he's your centerpiece and he's doing what he's doing and accomplishing what he's doing, you have to scratch your head and really dig deep into the archives of when he's played better," Carlyle said.

"Again, he's been an energized player since our five-day break (in March). Whatever he had on that five-day break, we're going to find out and get more of it."

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Anaheim on Friday.

The Oilers continue to search for answers to combat Getzlaf's size, strength and vision. The matchups aren't good for them, facing the difficult one-two punch down the middle of Getzlaf and Selke Trophy nominee Ryan Kesler.

"Right now, we don't (have answers)," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "He's playing that well. And he's had 26 or 27 minutes, so you can try to get whatever match you want, it's either 17 (Kesler) or 15 (Getzlaf) on the ice all the time."

Getzlaf willed his team to victory after a subpar first period in which the Oilers took a 2-0 lead. He did it by starting with his own performance.

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf finishes rebound for second

"I was really disappointed with the way we played in the first period," said Getzlaf, who ranks second in the NHL in playoff scoring and is tied for second in goals.

"I've always said that I can say anything I want in the dressing room, but I have to go out and live it and tried to do that in the second period and the group went along with it and we kept playing."

Getzlaf had two goals and an assist in the second period when the Ducks took a 3-2 lead.

"He's been a guy that's stepped to the forefront and really taken the bull by the horns," Carlyle said. "Even the play in overtime, he read that, cut the pass off and found Silfverberg in front of the net all alone."

Getzlaf's Game 4 response especially was pivotal considering he was without his usual linemate Patrick Eaves, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 3. Carlyle reunited Getzlaf with Corey Perry, who had one assist in Game 4.

Oilers forward Connor McDavid took ownership of the first period before Getzlaf grabbed hold of the second. There were some similarities to a March 22 showdown between the Oilers and Ducks in Anaheim, a 4-3 Ducks victory. That night Getzlaf had three assists and McDavid had three points.

Getzlaf was asked Wednesday if he felt as though he had been forgotten before the series started because of all the questions about the McDavid-Kesler matchup.

"That's the marquee matchup," he said. "There's no ifs, ands or buts. The kid (McDavid) is the best player in the world. He's played outstanding throughout the season. His team goes as he goes. So we have to pay special attention to him."

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf passes Selanne, spurs victory

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