Photo: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire
The Anaheim Ducks produced 17% less play-by-play offense in game three than they did in game two, but a combination of better finish, an off night for Cam Talbot, and a terrific crowd performance of the star-spangled-banner, added up to six Anaheim goals as they waddled back into the series.
In our game two report, we revealed how the Oilers squeaked out a few ugly playoff wins by minimizing mistakes, especially major mistakes and back-to-back mistakes. We spoke too soon as the Oilers defensive mistakes jumped 43%, and their positive defense dropped by 29% in their game three loss.
In the backdrop of this defensive let down, the Oilers produced 34% more offense and overall were more responsible with the puck, except for a few significant turnovers, including the rim Getzlaf quickly converted into a goal.
This divergence between dropping defense and rising offense, was mirrored by a group of Edmonton defensemen that struggled significantly, and an Oiler forward unit that saw their overall contributions actually rise 65% from game two.
Oiler Contribution Highlights
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins performed 46.4% below his regular season contributions though the Oilers first eight playoff games, but his game three contribution jumped fourfold in leading the Oiler forwards offensively, and he was among the leaders defensively.
Connor McDavid scored a beautiful (offensive zone) goal in a four on four situation where he had a bit more room (he is better on the rush), and Leon Draisaitl continued his great playoff run as they both contributed similarly behind Nugent-Hopkins.
Among defensemen, Kris Russel and Matt Benning were the leaders on a tough night for Edmonton blue liners, with Benning leading defensively and Russel leading offensively.
Ducks Contribution Highlights
Jacob Silfverberg was been strong in game one and two but excelled in game three, with two goals and a helper. In the series, he is solidly in the second contribution spot among Duck forwards.
Ryan Getzlaf, who has been exceptional in the series, and Ryan Kesler were also very strong for the Ducks.
Missing from this list is Corey Perry, who in the series, is performing 60% below his regular season contribution level.
On the Ducks blueline, Josh Manson was the runaway contribution leader, creating a significant level of play-by-play offense. He was followed by Hampus Lindholm and Shea Theodore on a night where the Ducks defensemen were good, but not great.
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