Oilers pump five past Ducks in spirited first-period blitz

Justin Cuthbert
Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl
The Edmonton Oilers responded with five first-period goals in Game 6 after their epic collapse versus the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Edmonton Oilers can, in fact, dig in.

After an epic collapse in Game 5, wherein which they coughed up three goals in the final three minutes and change before ultimately being pushed to the brink of elimination on Corey Perry’s double-overtime winner, the Oilers delivered a response beyond anyone’s realistic expectations for Game 6.

A five-goal first-period blitz.

What’s more, it went down without Connor McDavid even registering a point.

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On a line with Milan Lucic and Anton Slepyshev, (veritable Duck Hunter) Leon Draisaitl was the offensive catalyst, scoring twice on a shaky John Gibson in the first seven minutes and 22 seconds.

Draisaitl’s brace gave him an incredible 10 goals and 18 points one period into his 11th game versus Anaheim this season. (Spoiler: he’s since collected his 21st point and a hat trick).

Just a little over a minute later, Zack Kassian flew the zone and won a race to a cleared puck, ended Gibson’s night with a five-hole finish, and then proceeded to stage perhaps the best goal celebration of these playoffs.

On in relief for Gibson, Jonathan Bernier failed to corral a blast from Kris Russell, leaving the puck loose at the side of the goal. Mark Letestu pounced, and when his pass attempt was knocked back onto his stick, he shoveled it into the roof of the net.

On a power-play opportunity just before the end of the period, Draisaitl found Matt Benning at the point, who swung it over to Letestu, who clapped his second into a wide-open net.

Playing to protect was proven to be an unwise strategy for the Oilers in this second-round series versus Anaheim. Doing the opposite in Game 6, and continuing on the attack, they became the first team in seven years to score five times in a period.

And built up a lead next-to impossible to hand over.

We believe.

For this fan’s sake, we hope:

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