When the games matter most Jakob Silfverberg rises to the occasion.
For Silfverberg the three-point outing helps stretch his goal-scoring streak to three games, puts him just one goal back of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel for the most goals in the playoffs, and pushes his point total to eight in seven games.
Silfverberg's performance is what the Ducks needed to help cut the Oilers' series lead to 2-1, but for the team it shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
The 26-year-old is quickly gaining a knack for strong playoff performances. Going back two years, Silfverberg has now amassed 31 points in his last 30 postseason games.
This time around his offense has been on full display. As mentioned above, his six tallies lead the Ducks. He and Ryan Getzlaf are the only two players who have scored power-play goals for the Ducks - making up the five the team has scored on 24 opportunities. On top of that, Silfverberg's 29 shots on goal are 10 more than any other Ducks player and rank fourth league-wide.
All this has not gone unnoticed by head coach Randy Carlyle who praised Silfverberg postgame, comparing him to a former Swedish great.
"Silfvy is a tremendous hockey player and if you look at the stat sheet tonight, he was all over it," Carlyle said. "He's the kind of guy who's an unsung, unassuming individual. But he really is a tremendous hockey player and we are very, very fortunate to have him. He can do a lot of things.
"From my vantage point, previous to me getting the job in Anaheim, when I was unemployed I spent some time in the press box and watching him play reminded me of Daniel Alfredsson. He had that type of demeanor about him. He was good on the defensive side of it, but he found ways to provide offense. He's a dynamic player, a good checker, and that's who I felt he resembled."
Of course, Silfverberg played his first season in the league with Alfredsson as a member of the Ottawa Senators. So maybe Silfverberg's recent trend of strong playoff performances was inherited from Alfredsson.
Either way, the Ducks have have become the benefactors and they will need more of it if they are to square their series at 2-2.
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