The Edmonton Oilers came up with an incredible performance at home in Game Six of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday, s to even the series at three. It’s definitely rare to see that kind of a showing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and this was one of the oddest playoff games in some time. Here are five of the most unusual stats from that game.
1. The Oilers were the first playoff team to score five goals in the first period since 2010. The previous team to do so was the 2010 Detroit Red Wings, down 3-0 in a second-round series against the San Jose Sharks. Detroit scored five in the first period at home and won 7-1 in the end, much like Edmonton did here. The Oilers will hope to wind up better off overall than those Red Wings, though; Detroit lost the next game 2-1 and lost the series 4-1.
2. This was the Ducks’ fourth straight loss while leading a series 3-2. They also went on to lose all four of the ensuing seventh games, all at home, against Detroit (2013), Los Angeles (2014), Chicago (2015) and Nashville (2016). Can they turn that trend around in Game Seven Wednesday?
3. Leon Draisaitl joined an illustrious crowd of Oilers. Draisaitl was Edmonton’s driving force Sunday, recording three goals and two assists. That made him the second-youngest player in Oilers’ history to record a postseason hat trick, and the fifth Oilers’ player to record five points in a single postseason game. He also became the first Oilers’ player with a postseason hat trick since 2000. And he only had three previous career playoff goals. Impressive, most impressive.
4. John Gibson was pulled less than 10 minutes in. Gibson, the Ducks’ starting goalie, gave up three goals on six shots inside the first nine minutes, and was promptly pulled for Jonathan Bernier (who allowed four further goals on 29 shots). The Ducks are going to need better goaltending to have any hope of winning in Game Seven.
5. Mark Letestu dramatically improved his postseason stats. The 32-year-old Letestu had four career playoff goals and 11 career playoff points before Sunday, and only one of those goals and four of those points came before this year. He’s having a great playoffs, and that continued Sunday with a two-goal, two-assist performance. Keep that up, and a lot more people will know just who he is.