In Anaheim, game 1, 2100h.
Laraque moves up to the first line, Harvey stays in and Winchester out. Corey Perry out, Travis Moen in.
I'd meant to do a keys to the series first, but, well, I didn't. I don't know the Ducks all that well yet, but it seems that what's kept them in is solid goaltending and shutting down top lines (the two may be related). So the key against them will be, well, the same as it's been: keep all 4 lines rolling and going offensively, good defensive play. Likewise, it doesn't seem like Anaheim has one line to key on, or even two - seems they've been relying on scoring by committee as well. I'm sure Todd Marchant has something he'd like to show Kevin Lowe as well.
CBC changed up their lines too: we get Cole and Neale. I think I'd rather they'd stuck with Hughson, but I guess we'll see - Cole's already gotten a name wrong, Spacek's.
Wow, does that arena ever sound dead, considering it's less than two minutes into the Conference Finals - they cheered a bit for a hit by a Duck just now, but wow.
5 minutes in and Edmonton goes on the power play, Lupul in the box. At least the crowd knew why the whistle went, and showed their displeasure. Ducks with 35 straight PKs, wow. Horcoff took a hit in the back behind the play and his face went into the boards, no reaction from the referees or the commentators - hopefully they'll at least show the replay, it looked like Horcoff turned into it but I'm still wondering why no reaction at all.
Coming off the PK, the Ducks had a little rush by Selanne, he sure is different this year than he was last season. Just before the commercial break, they showed Horcoff on the bench, he's got a bloody nose. Ah, yeah, he turned into it and Salei took him in hard.
Roloson had to be sharp on a very weird bounce. Shortly later, he got hit behind the net playing the puck and had to scramble back fast, lost his stick - usually they've called that goalie interference, but Roloson turned into him a bit. Still... usually that one's called. Oh well. I expect the refs will hear about that one.
As good as the Ducks PK has been, their PP has been execrable - hopefully the Oilers can make that continue. If Roloson keeps making stops like he just did on Lupul from Selanne, the Oilers PK will be good to go again. Looks like the Ducks like playing a bit of a similar style, with cross-ice passes to keep the defenders moving and plenty of movement back to the points and cross-ice there too.
Stoll ran Beauchemin at the blueline, just as the whistle went but just after Beauchemin realized the offside and let up - that might turn interesting. (Cherry and MacLean showed it during the break, looks like Stoll apologized and Beauchemin gave him a nod and skated away. I was wondering why he didn't at least make the token attempt to get past the referee.)
5m left: Bryzgalov made a great save, but Dustin Penner took a hooking penalty. Edmonton couldn't do a lot with the power play. If the series continues like this, it's gonna be a long one.
Edmonton took a penalty late in the first, then Roloson sent Peca away on a breakaway and he made no mistake, but about 30 seconds later, the Ducks came back, and the period ended 1-1.
Beauchemin levelled Hemsky at Edmonton's line - ouch. By all accounts he's been a workhorse for the Ducks. Bryzgalov made an ESP save on Horcoff shortly afterwards. The Ducks are throwing the body around: Beauchemin, Vishnevsky, and Salei are all hitting hard. Pronger and Smith need to get going too - it's not as bad as G1 vs the Sharks was, but the Oilers are being outhit nevertheless. Are they showing their tiredness?
Harvey took a hooking penalty, Roloson fumbled a bit and MacDonald almost had a gimme at the corner of the net.
CBC are calling Smyth - Horcoff - Hemsky a line - interesting, my eyeball says they only played about half the games together, mostly they started out with Winchester. Maybe MacT switched up more than I noticed.
Short 2 man PP for Edmonton at the midpoint of the second - didn't do anything with the actual 2 man, but Hemsky knocked in a rebound for the 2-1 goal, which will almost certainly go to replay, looks a lot like Hemsky's stick was below the crossbar. Stoll almost knocked it in but thought better
of it. Yup, it stood up.
Shortly after that, Peca took a penalty behind the play and got pretty pissed - then he went to the wrong penalty box, heh. Not sure why he was so angry - it was a pretty clear interference call on Fedoruk.
On the PP, Selanne had a couple of great chances, Smyth and Horcoff almost got sprung, but a Duck hammered Smyth down and the puck went back the other way. Eventually the penalty expired, Staios and Penner roughed each other up at the end boards and the Duck got away with a bit.
Weird to hear them talk about Marchant and it's not an Oiler - even though it's been a while. Marchant nailed Pisani into the boards right after that, and took a roughing penalty. Stoll took a holding the stick penalty to nullify, kind of bogus since Pahlsson's stick was caught in his jersey, but them's the breaks.
Horcoff looked dangerous on a sorta-SH rush with about a minute and a half left, then some great action in Edmonton's end in the last 20 seconds or so. Oilers got out with their 2-1 lead.
Third period started out quick: Rob Niedermayer with a good chance on the doorstep. Some more Ducks pressure, and a sneak shot that Roloson had to be careful on. The Ducks are all over the Oilers, and finally the Oilers took a penalty (Torres) after the Oilers iced it a couple times. Oddly, the Ducks had done better on the 5-5 than they did on the PP, which ended just as Roloson's mask came off - he took a shot in the front that blew the straps right off his head.
Jeff Friesen came in on a 1-1 on Greene, and the rookie dman played him perfectly - poor Tarnstrom, his spot's gone gone gone. (Is he a UFA? If Greene keeps it up, Spacek may be expendable next season if he's asking for too much. Spacek's playing pretty well, but the Oilers have a 6 million dollar man in Pronger, and if any other dman deserves 2.5+ it's Smith.)
A couple of good saves at each end in the third - Roloson giving his team a chance to keep the lead, Bryzgalov keeping his team in the hunt. The Ducks are doing a good job of getting the puck in deep and retrieving it, but they're not seeming to be willing to pay the price in front of the net - perimeter players, despite my comment about them outhitting the Oilers earlier. Seems like that end of it is a bit more even now, middle of the third.
Hemsky's back with Horcoff and Smyth - I hadn't been paying too close attention to that in the 2nd, if I was industrious I'd go dig out the shift charts to guess when it happened.
I guess I maybe wasn't totally out to lunch on the hitting thing, CBC are noting it now too.
Pronger took a holding on Marchant, who had a great chance deflected by Smith's stick (take that Don Cherry, a goal saved for a goal against, cos I think that was in otherwise). Anaheim's looking dangerous on the PP, but... Spacek made some nice plays to break up some passing. Pronger came out of the box and came within an ace of setting up Horcoff, who couldn't quite reach it.
Oilers are checking very tight now, 2:30 left, they're looking like they did against the Wings in the first round, and the Ducks (I keep wanting to type the Sharks) still aren't really driving the front of the net on their chances. A minute left and the Ducks have pulled the goalie, but Harvey got the puck into the net from centre ice and got knocked on his ass by Beauchemin for his troubles. And that's the game.
Hm, Cherry and MacLean showed something I had been kind of wondering about - Marchant pulled Pronger down, not the other way around.