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TimeApr 27, 2017

Oilers v Ducks - Game 1 - Oilers Keep Rolling

Photo: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

The Oilers charmed run has continued into round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by upsetting the Ducks in game one, and stealing home ice advantage with a 5-3 victory.

A couple power play goals and two even strength third period goals were enough to hand Anaheim their first loss of the playoffs.

At the outset of the second round, we noted Edmonton is a strong team on the rush, rated fourth during the regular season, while Anaheim is relatively poor defending the rush.

The Oilers did manage to created 65.6% more offense on the rush than they averaged vs the Sharks in round one, and used it to scored two timely third period goals, including the game winner.

It is also worth noting, the Ducks are a strong puck possession team in the offensive zone by using their big bodies, but they actually rank in the bottom third of the league in play-by-play Offensive Zone Play (OZP). Protecting and cycling the puck is valuable but very different than creating offense like the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are an elite OZP team.

Oiler Contribution Leaders

Forwards

1. Mark Letestu led the Oiler forwards with a monster offensive game, mostly by being at the right place at the right time on the power play. He was also in the right place and time defensively, rating second among Oiler forwards, while he was near the bottom in play-by-play defense in round one vs the Sharks.

2. Leon Draisaitl has now strung together three exceptional playoff games. He contributed a close second in game one against the Ducks, but unlike Letestu, a large part of his offensive was created at even strength. He led the Oiler forwards defensively, highlighted by a ridiculous backcheck-stick lift, on what looked like a sure goal for the Ducks. Overall, on offense, and on defense, his last three game average would rank him above the top performing offensive and defensive forwards during the regular season.

3. Connor McDavid and 4. Milan Lucic together made up the Oilers second contribution level, with similar offense and defense. McDavid’s contribution was a fraction ahead of his six-game average vs the Sharks, but over 25% below his regular season average. It was Lucic’s strongest game of the playoffs.

Defensemen

1. Adam Larsson was the runaway leader in game one with the midas touch on a great shot from the slot, and timely bounce shot from behind the net on the game winner. He was also strong defensively and took a huge jump from his six-game average vs San Jose, where his contributions landed him in the four spot among Oiler defensemen.

2. Oscar Klefbom was in second but well below his season average, and his average vs the Sharks. His defense in game one was almost identical to his regular season, which is well below his playoff defense, where he has shown significant, but inconsistent improvement.

3. Darnell Nurse was very much in line with his average vs the Sharks, with less offense but more defense.
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