The craziness continued in California on Friday night.
The Anaheim Ducks became the first team in NHL playoff history to force overtime when trailing by three goals with less than four minutes left in regulation, and then went on beat the Oilers, 4-3, on a goal by Corey Perry with 13:03 left in the second extra period.
The victory gave Anaheim a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series, with an opportunity to end it in Game 6 in Edmonton on Sunday night.
The Oilers came within an eyelash of beating Anaheim at the Honda Center for the third straight time, but seemed to fold under the relenting pressure. They are playing in the post-season for the first time since 2006.
The game took so long that it started on Cinco de Mayo and nearly ended on Seis de Mayo. Cam Talbot made 54 saves in the losing effort, rescuing the Oilers numerous times.
Adam Larsson, the Edmonton defenceman, led all players in ice time, playing just two seconds shy of 45 minutes. Connor McDavid, who had a goal and an assist, logged 35 minutes and 43 seconds. The Ducks had five players that played more than 30 minutes, led by Cam Fowler (35:01).
In all, there were 90 shots taken and 102 face-offs.
"I thought it was a hell of a game," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "We got to the last three-and-a-half minutes and felt we were in control.
"We are all pissed off and down right now, but we have to come back with a game at home that is that much better. We have believed from the beginning that we can play with this team."
The Ducks scored three goals in a span of 3:01 within the game's final three-and-a-half minutes to send it to extra time. All three came with goalie John Gibson pulled to give them an extra attacker, and with a number of fans having left the rink already certain about the outcome. The tying goal was a backhand by Rickard Rakell that eluded Talbot during a huge scrum in front of the net.
The Oilers asked for a replay review believing that Ryan Kesler had interfered with Talbot in the pile-up, but the goal was allowed to stand.
"I don't think I know what interference is anymore," McLellan said.
The loss was the Oilers second in a row in overtime. On Wednesday night, they took an early 2-0 lead at Rogers Place before falling in extra time.
Edmonton's Benoit Pouliot could have given the Oilers a 4-0 lead late but banged a shot off the top of the post from the side of the net on a 2-on-1 with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Talbot had made 14 saves in the first overtime period. Among them was a glove save on a shot by Vermette in heavy traffic. On another, he smothered a puck directed at him from in close by Ryan Kesler. A third time a shot squeezed through his legs but was swept out of harm's way as it trickled near the goal line by defenceman kris Russell.
The Oilers also survived through the first overtime period despite having been called for a penalty for having too many players on the ice during a shift change. Their bench looked crestfallen; head coach Todd McLellan stood, his eyes staring down at his feet. In a luxury suite in the arena, Wayne Gretzky, now an Oilers executive, stood shaking his head.
The Oilers took a 3-0 lead on Friday night over the Pacific Division champions with goals in the second period by Leon Draisaitl, McDavid and Drake Caggiula. The goal was Draisaitl's eighth against Anaheim this season. In 10 games against the Ducks – regular season and post-season combined – he has 15 points.
The goal was the third in as many games for McDavid and his fifth in the playoffs. Edmonton's 20-year-old captain, nominated this week for both the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award, also had an assist when Caggiula scored. It was McDavid's first multi-point game of the postseason.
Friday night was the sixth time in franchise history that the Ducks had hosted a Game 5 during the playoffs with a series tied at two games a piece – and the first they have ever won.
"Obviously, you feel more comfortable in your building," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "But if you look back on history, there is no rhyme or reason on whether you win or lose. The better team is going to win. It doesn't matter what building you are playing in."
The Ducks outshot the Oilers 13-7 in the first period but it ended scoreless thanks to Talbot. The Edmonton goalie recorded three saves in the first 25 seconds and later thwarted two excellent scoring chances for Getzlaf, one on a 2-on-1 and the other on a penalty shot.
On the latter, Getzlaf broke free up the center of the ice and was held by Milan Lucic as he beared down on the net. Getzlaf then fired wide of the right post on the penalty shot after Talbot refused to bite on a fake.
Less than two-and-half minutes into the game, Oilers defenceman Matt Benning had to be helped off the ice after he was checked hard by Nate Thompson. Benning returned, but only after passing a concussion test. Then the Oilers lost Andrej Sekera, another defenceman, three and a half minutes later when he was checked into the boards by Getzlaf. Sekera skated to the bench with help from Lucic but never returned after suffering an apparent lower-body injury. That left the Oilers down a defenceman, and led to Larsson piling up the big minutes.