What we learned from the Ducks' 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers

What we learned from the Ducks' 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers
Ducks center Ryan Kesler, center, keeps his eyes on the airborne puck that rebounded off Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) during the second period Wednesday night. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Anybody up for a playoff series between the Ducks and Edmonton Oilers?

If it were made for television, the casting is complete. There are the high-skill stars in Connor McDavid and Rickard Rakell, while Patrick Maroon and Ryan Kesler fill the villain roles.


Wednesday's game had that and everything in between before the Ducks prevailed, 4-3, at Honda Center.

Here's what we learned:

Hampus Lindholm got offensive

The defenseman acknowledged earlier this week that his production hasn't been where it normally is, but he felt it would come.

He was rewarded with an easy tap-in goal off a rush and finished with a career-high three points. Josh Manson also scored as the Ducks got goals from two defensemen for the first time since Jan.31.

Lindholm is expected to produce more than Manson, particularly because he's on the power play. That became more of a challenge because of the Ducks' struggles there, and he had a late start to the season, missing the first 13 games because of a contract holdout.

But he focused on defense and turned in arguably his best defensive game last Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. Now he tries for more games like Wednesday, when he passed Lubomir Visnovsky for eighth on the franchise all-time defensemen scoring list.

"I know I signed a long contract here," Lindholm said earlier this week. "I'm going to be here for a while. I want to win something. As long as the team is winning, I'm not going to get down on myself. I'm going to play as hard as I can. When it really counts, that's when I want to be the one providing offense, but at the same time, you want the defense to be solid the whole way."

The Ducks nearly flubbed the ending

A win washes away all blemishes, but it was difficult to overlook three needless penalties in the final five minutes.

Lindholm cross-checked McDavid. Kesler tripped an Oiler in the offensive zone. Manson inexplicably grabbed the puck and threw it down ice for an infraction.

Edmonton pulled goalie Laurent Brossoit for a six-on-three advantage at one point, and the Ducks were fortunate not to surrender more than a goal in the final minutes.

Talbot looked off

That was evident on the Ducks' first goal. Patrick Eaves looked like he wanted to create a rebound with a throw-it-on-net shot that went in under Talbot's arm.


That ended Talbot's two-game-plus scoreless streak. He couldn't be faulted much on the other goals, although he tracked the puck late on Manson's long wrist shot.

The Oilers have ridden Talbot hard — he appeared in his league-high 66th game. Edmonton Coach Todd McLellan couldn't fault him for much, though.

"The first [goal] I'm sure he would be willing to take back, but after that, there were some hard shots," McLellan said. "The last guy I'm going to complain about is Cam Talbot."