When Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was asked by a Kelowna newspaper scribe Tuesday if getting out of hockey-mad Edmonton for a few days would be worth it, he shrugged his shoulders.
“We think it’ll benefit us but we’ll be judged by our performance in Game 4, won’t we?” he said. “Tied 2-2 or down 3-1. By tomorrow night about 10:30 or 11 in Edmonton, we’ll know.”
Actually, it was closer to 11:15 p.m. but that’s a small quibble.
We know now, the R&R (rest and Ryan Getzlaf) worked just fine even though the Oilers caught a break with a penalty to the NHL’s second best face-off guy, Antoine Vermette. He was nailed for putting his glove on the puck on a draw against Mark Letestu in the 16th minute of the third and Drake Caggiula tied it just after the penalty ended.
In overtime, Rickard Rakell forechecked down on Adam Larsson along the wall, the puck went to Getztlaf and he fed Jakob Silfverberg for a wide-open one-timer for the 4-3 winner 45 seconds in. It was Getzlaf’s second assist to go with two goals as he grabbed his team by the throat as if to say, ‘Follow me,’ Wednesday. Especially in the second, when the Ducks had dug an 0-2 first-period hole. Getzlaf scored twice (his first-ever multiple-goal playoff game) and set up Rakell for another one in the middle frame.
The Ducks captain was total calm under fire, cruising around the ice with that six-foot-four, 220-pound frame, playing keep-away as the series is now tied 2-2. It was the fourth road win of the playoffs for the Ducks, who also won two in their sweep of the Calgary Flames in Round 1.
Getzlaf has eight points in the four games against the Oilers and 13 (seven goals) in the eight Ducks’ games this spring. But, guys get the C for two reasons, leadership and leadership.
“When he goes like that we have no choice. We have to follow suit to compete like he does. And when he’s leading the charge, when he goes like that, I don’t know if you can stop him because he’s so big and so poised with the puck and makes those plays,” said Ducks winger Andrew Cogliano. “I don’t even know how to describe tonight. He was absolutely phenomenal, he won us the game.
“He should be getting some serious praise. He’s been the difference in this series for us.”
Silfverberg has also scored in all four games against the Oilers with five in all, and six this spring. He was on in overtime for Corey Perry, when he usually only plays with Getzlaf on the power play. Perry had a good game in place of the injured Patrick Eaves, but he’s been snake-bitten around the net this season, and was stopped by Cam Talbot on a two-on-one earlier in the game.
“I made a terrible pass to Silfy before that in the neutral zone but he got in on the forecheck, Raks got in and made him give the puck up and I was able to get it over to Silfy and he does what he does,” said Getzlaf, who got no argument from Cogliano..
“If you want anybody there, you want Silfy. He practises that shot before every practice.”
Silfverberg, who’d been robbed late in the second in the crease by Talbot, had about three steamboats before the puck got over and he unloaded, he was so alone.
“I’d looped behind the net and I was thinking of going off,” said Silfverberg. “I’d turned my back on the play and didn’t see what happened (along the boards). Next thing I look and there’s Getzlaf and I’m wide-open. What can I say about him? Pretty much every shift he dominated.
“Remarkable performance. When he plays with that aggressiveness and that physicality he pushes the whole team. He showed the team the right way tonight.”
Vermette, who won 64 per cent of his draws, wasn’t happy with the face-off call as he fell to his knees after the draw, but his complaints fell on the usual deaf ears. The rule was put in because Zenon Konopka shovelled pucks back with his glove, but Vermette said it didn’t happen that way.
“The way I saw it, was I’m hitting his stick … I think only one other time have I been called on that, in pre-season when they had just put that rule was implemented,” said Vermette.
“Good for the heart and the character.”