Ethan Bear gets first NHL goal but Edmonton Oilers fall to Ducks in OT

Edmonton Oilers' Ethan Bear (74) celebrates his first NHL goal against the Anaheim Ducks during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Sunday, March 25, 2018. .
Edmonton Oilers' Ethan Bear (74) celebrates his first NHL goal against the Anaheim Ducks during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Sunday, March 25, 2018. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Ethan Bear scored his first NHL goal but the Edmonton Oilers couldn’t hold a lead against the Anaheim Ducks, losing 5-4 in overtime Sunday night at Rogers Place.

For Bear it was a moment he’ll never forget. Bear finished off a cross ice pass from Connor McDavid on the power play to give the Oilers a 4-3 lead with 7:43 remaining in the third period.

“We were just cycling it around for a bit trying to open up lanes and that time came when I went down,” said Bear. “Connor made a nice pass and I just tried to bare down and I put it in and it was a good feeling after that.”

Ethan Bear after scoring his first NHL goal.
Ethan Bear after scoring his first NHL goal. Brenden Ullrich - 630 CHED Sports

“It’s a play I’m going to remember for the rest of my life for sure,” added Bear. 

Listen: Ethan Bear on 630 CHED

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McDavid who picked up his 99th point of the season on the play couldn’t have been more excited for his teammate.

“I’m happy for him and happy for his family. It’s a big night for him and it seems like the Oilers fan base. I know that he’s quickly become a fan favorite just being where he’s from and all that and we’re proud of him,” said McDavid.

READ MORE: Indigenous hockey player Ethan Bear makes NHL debut with great fanfare

The Oilers power play finished strong on the night but early in the game they struggled on the man advantage. The Oilers had two power plays in the first 10 minutes but did nothing with them. In fact, Anaheim had the better scoring chances despite being shorthanded.

With just under four minutes to go in the session, the line of Jesse Puljujarvi, Ryan Strome, and Milan Lucic had a flurry of chances but couldn’t beat John Gibson.

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Connor McDavid opened the scoring 1:46 into the second period, beating Gibson with a wrister from the right side. Anaheim tied it 19 seconds later on a goal from Josh Manson.

Ty Rattie put the Oilers ahead when Matt Benning’s shot deflected in off him. McDavid earned the second assist. With 1:42 left in the period, Leon Draisaitl ripped home a sharp angle one-timer for his 24th goal.

READ MORE: Connor McDavid takes over NHL scoring lead as Edmonton Oilers edge L.A. Kings

The Ducks stormed out and tied the game in the first six minutes of the third on goals from Adam Henrique and Corey Perry.  On a power play with 7:18 left, Bear took a cross ice pass from McDavid and flicked a shot past Gibson. But with Gibson on the bench for an extra attacker, Brandon Montour’s centring pass went in off Henrique with 1:29 left.

In overtime, Hampus Lindholm swooped in and snapped a shot through Talbot. The goal came after the Ducks spent the first part of overtime working the puck around their own zone before trying to attack the Oilers net.

“I think they were just trying to keep the puck until Connor and Leon got off the ice to be quite honest,” said Talbot. “It seemed like they had no interest in moving the puck up the ice until they saw an opening. It was kind of a weird one, not a whole lot going down until they came down.”

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“Overtime is about possession and if you can tire them out , and get a good change I think that’s how we need to play,” explained Lindholm. “We haven’t been that successful in overtime before with a lot of goals scored against us because we were taking chances and you get punished pretty quick against quick teams like this.”

McDavid had a goal and two assists, moving him to 99 points for the season. He leads Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov by four points for top spot in the NHL.

Listen: Connor McDavid on 630 CHED

The Oilers, 34-36-6, will host Columbus on Tuesday.

With files from Brenden Ullrich and Scott Johnston