May 23, 2018

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs from Friday

20 May 2017, 01:49 | Pamela Mathis

Anaheim Ducks' Sami Vatanen (45) and Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) battle for the puck during the second period in Game 6 of a second-round NHL hockey playoff series in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday, May 7, 2017. Kerdiles is the Ducks' first player from Orange County.

Ironically, the Ducks could take a lesson from the Oilers when it comes to brushing aside an embarrassing performance.

The goal capped a Ducks comeback that started with 3:16 left in the third period with the team down 3-0.

Nashville's Ryan Johansen (92), who scored the game-winner, celebrates with his teammates clinching their series. Draisaitl has made it a fair fight. Patrick Maroon, Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian bring a physical angle that young skill teams don't usually have. "Everyone knows how good he is in here". And - perhaps even more alarmingly for the Anaheim Ducks - that lead was built without Connor McDavid even registering a point.

Who knew he was capable of a five-point outing?

The Ducks recent playoff history doesn't point in their favour, however.

Draisaitl scored the first playoff hat trick for the Oilers since Bill Guerin and Doug Weight did the deed against Dallas in 2000. They and their fans are whining about the calls that the National Hockey League officials have made, or not made, in their last two playoff games against the Anaheim Ducks - and it's not pretty. He beats them up for fun.

"I think we're ready".

"Obviously, the season was on the line and we all had to step it up a notch and I thought the whole group did".

The Predators already won Game 1 to steal home-ice advantage in this series. They did it with the end of their season looming large. The series is not over, but it could be before the sun goes down in Edmonton tonight if the Oilers don't play their best game.

"Wherever we go, the Oilers will always be number one".

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If you take the two expected 20-man lineups for Wednesday's game, Anaheim has 43 games of Game 7 experience to Edmonton's 19. But it won't be lost to nervousness or inexperience or lack of preparation. We look on it as mentally we were drained from the emotions of the night before.

The Edmonton Oilers are forcing the Anaheim Ducks to face their Game 7 playoff demons.

The Ducks were eliminated in the first rounds of 2016 (Nashville) and 2013 (Detroit), the second round of 2014 (Los Angeles) and the third round of 2015 (Chicago) in seventh games at the Honda Center.

"I think everyone is aware of their history but it's a new series, a new year, a new playoff run", said Draisaitl. "He came up huge for us when we needed it the most".

Edmonton was without defensemen Andrej Sekera and Oscar Klefbom, who sustained undisclosed injuries in Game 5 on Friday in Anaheim.

"We didn't get it done last night", Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. And now we're guaranteed our first Game 7 of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. "We have to make sure we do that on Wednesday".

Reporter: "Can this team embrace a Game 7 the way it should be embraced?" And our lines are constructed that we can keep (McDavid and Draisaitl) together or play them apart. "This was as bad a loss circumstances-wise as we've had, but the guys were able to bury and park it". "It's hard to argue with that".

The Oilers haven't collectively been in this situation before, with a berth in the Western Conference finals at stake.

The Ducks have been on their heels at the outset of games all series. The Ducks and Oilers have taken turns cutting each other off at the knees.

How many times can one team swim upstream?

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