ANAHEIM – Connor McDavid, the NHL’s latest wizard at only 19, finally got his first goal against the Ducks and it was something special. Something Cam Fowler wishes could disappear from the memory banks of your average die-hard hockey fan.
And then the Edmonton Oilers and the announced 15,310 in attendance at Honda Center witnessed the Ducks’ Rickard Rakell put a spell on Kris Russell and Cam Talbot. If only the Oilers could erase the underrated winger’s bit of artistry Wednesday night.
Rakell’s in-an-instant highlight-reel goal was the tasty dessert on a decisive second-period feast by the Ducks, who wiped out two first-period deficits and took the lead for good in a 4-3 victory that moved them above the Oilers into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division.
The win also pulled the Ducks (39-23-11) within two points of idle and suddenly struggling San Jose. The game itself provided enough intrigue for a potential barn-burner of a first-round playoff series should they meet. And the Ducks hope this win planted a seed in the Oilers’ heads.
“Yeah, maybe,” Rakell said. “It’s tough to say. We just try to be ready before every game. Obviously, we tried to prepare like these games are something extra. Especially because we know that it’s very likely that we could face each other in the future.”
Hampus Lindholm and Ryan Getzlaf each had three-point nights, with Lindholm having a career-high point night and Getzlaf reaching 60 for the ninth time in his career. Jonathan Bernier was again solid with 29 saves. But the moment that had the arena lit came midway through the second.
After Josh Manson provided the Ducks a 3-2 edge early on, Rakell had the puck in the Edmonton zone and was trying to work his way around Oilers defenders. The skilled Swede used some fancy stickwork after having his initial shot attempt blocked by Russell.
Rakell went to his left to turn Russell around and then back to his right to use him as a…