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ANAHEIM, CA – The Edmonton Oilers rallied in the second and again in the third to tie the game up multiple times but could never find the go-ahead goal, until Teddy Purcell netted the overtime winner 1:16 into the extra frame on Wednesday night.
Edmonton outshot Anaheim 3-0 in overtime, carrying the play for the majority of the time. Eventually it paid off as Purcell was sprung in alone by Andrej Sekera. Purcell made no mistake, roofing the puck for the game winner.
"They had a 3-on-2 and I just fell behind the play there and Leon (Draisaitl) did a great job of back-checking and breaking it up. Then (Nilsson) made a heads-up play keeping the play alive and then Sekera made a great pass. So it was a lot of things in one to get that breakaway," said the hero of the game, Teddy Purcell.
With the game tied 1-1 after two, Anaheim moved back in front only 1:56 into the third. Cam Fowler skated in behind the Oilers net before feeding Shawn Horcoff at the right post. The former Oilers captain quickly chipped the puck past Nilsson. The goal was Horcoff's 500th career NHL point.
However, Oilers got back on even terms less than four minutes later. Klefbom's blast from the left point found its way into the back of the net to make it 2-2. This started the barrage of goals.
"I thought our performance was resilient. It was strong. Not an easy building to play in, a team that’s really starting to come on. I thought we held our own," Oilers head coach Todd McLellan noted. "I liked that we were able to manage the early part of the game when they came real hard. We bent, we didn’t break. Every time they got ahead we responded right away."
Only 1:06 after Edmonton tied it, Corey Perry corralled the puck in the slot, took his time and then backhanded it in over the blocker of Nilsson to put Anaheim back in the lead.
The onslaught of goals continued. From behind the net, Draisaitl moved the puck to Nugent-Hopkins in front with a nice one-handed pass and RNH managed to get the puck to his forehand before snapping it past Andersen. The goal was the third in 2:19 and fourth in 6:23 as the game really took an offensive turn.
"It’s a classic Oiler game right now, I think," McLellan stated. "We were there, we were in it. Unfortunately for us, that type of game maybe has not gone our way, even down the stretch in the last three or four minutes. Tonight, we got it to overtime and I’m really happy for the guys that they could win there. It was an exciting last 20, 25 minutes of the game for our group and we needed that."
The Oilers suffered from a slow start in the game as the Anaheim Ducks outshot Edmonton 6-2 through the game’s opening five minutes to start things off.
The Ducks continued to dominate the game territorially in the opening frame, leading to the game’s first penalty. Eric Gryba cleared the puck over the glass from his own zone near the midway point of the first, giving Anaheim the game's first power play.
1:01 into the power play, Corey Perry's no-look drop pass from the left side of the net went off the skate of Darnell Nurse at the top of the crease and in past Oilers starting goaltender Anders Nilsson to make it 1-0 for Anaheim.
Shots on goal past the 15-minute mark of the game was 13-4 in favour of the Ducks.
"I don’t think we played bad, it’s just they came very hard at us in the first period. I think we just kind of weathered the storm," said Leon Draisaitl, who had a goal and two assists. "The last two periods we actually played really solid hockey. I think we deserved to win and now it’s a matter of keeping that going, not winning one game and then getting off our game. We’ve got to try and keep that going."
2:29 into period two, Hampus Lindholm ran some interference on Draisaitl at the side of the Ducks net, resulting in Edmonton's first power play of the game.
With six seconds left in the power play, Draisaitl wired a one-timer from the right circle that found its way past Andersen on the glove side to get the game back on even terms at 1-1.
Just past the period’s midway point, Taylor Hall got in behind the Ducks defence and broke in alone on Andersen but his shot went over the net.
Hall again had a great chance later in the period. On the rush, Hall's initial shot was denied by Andersen and the Ducks goaltender then extended out his left toe to make another big save. Andersen got shaken up on the play.
"It’s good. The guys got into it. We talked more, we were more into the game. And I think that helps. Talking on the ice makes it that much easier," said Draisaitl.