Leon Draisaitl had three goals and two assists, leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 7-1 thrashing of the Anaheim Ducks Sunday night at Rogers Place.
The second round series is now even 3-3.
The barrage started 2:45 into the first period when Draisaitl broke in on a breakaway. Despite being fouled from behind, he nudged a shot underneath John Gibson. Draisaitl added another less than five minutes later, winning a puck battle in front and sweeping home a backhand. Only 1:03 later, Zack Kassian scored on a breakaway. The Oilers had a 3-0 lead 8:25 into the game. Gibson was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots. The five goals in a period was one off the Oilers team playoff team record.
“It was huge. Obviously that set the tone for the whole night,” said Draisaitl of the lead. “The first period like that, to give yourself such a big lead, and all four lines were very dangerous tonight.”
Jonathan Bernier came on in relief. He bobbled a save and lost track of the puck. Mark Letestu pounced on it and beat Bernier up high. Letestu added a power play strike late in the frame, giving the Oilers a 5-0 lead after the first period.
“We’re better than what people give us credit for.,” said Mark Letestu. “We had a tough game against San Jose, 7-0, came back and won two games to win a series. I don’t think that there’s anything that we’re going to come across that we can’t bounce back from, and we proved that to each other tonight.”
Anton Slepyshev extended it to 6-0 45 seconds into the second period, converting a pass from Patrick Maroon on a two-on-one. Rickard Rakell got one back for the Ducks before Draisailt potted his hat trick goal on the power play at 15:27. It was the Oilers first playoff hat trick since Bill Guerin against Dallas on April 6, 2000.
Draisaitl hat trick! 7-1 Oilers. pic.twitter.com/20xNgUN9pF
— 630CHED (@630CHED) May 8, 2017
The third period was scoreless.
Cam Talbot made 34 saves for the win. Letestu finished with two goals and two assists.
“They came out. They dominated in every facet of the game, and we weren’t ready,” said Duck’s defenseman Cam Fowler.
The Oilers played with two of their top defencemen. Andrej Sekera is out for the series. Oscar Klefbom was a late scratch. Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart filled in. Kelfbom is expected to available for game seven Wednesday in Anaheim. (jrw)