Predators, Ducks win away from advancing to Western finals

Solenn Plantier
Mai 15, 2017

The Oilers were up 3-0 and on the cusp of taking a 3-2 series lead home when the Ducks became just the second team in National Hockey League playoff history to erase a three-goal deficit in the last four minutes of regulation.

After taking a 2-0 series lead, the Oilers had suffered three successive losses, including back-to-back overtime defeats in Games 4 and 5.

After a 7-1 Oilers must-win thrashing of the Ducks in Game 6 on Sunday at Rogers Place, let there be plenty of doubt indeed. Getzlaf has 15 points in 9 games and when the topic of Conn Smythe comes up, he's the leader from the West. Kelser's offensive contributions are not close, but he is a disruptive force against the Oiler offense and a key reason why the team switched to have all three of McDavid, Draisaitl, and RNH play down the middle in the last game.

"We didn't get it done last night", Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Those games are usually pretty simply played because no one wants to make that mistake".

In the Ducks' past four playoff eliminations, they have been ousted the same way: winning Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead before losing Games 6 and 7. The Oilers routed the Ducks in the first period with five goals, chased starter John Gibson, and added another in the second period's opening minute for good measure.

"We have to forget what happened", Patrick Maroon, the brawny forward, said. "We willed it through, and did whatever we had to do".

Draisaitl drives Edmonton's Game Six victory; Letestu, Karlsson, Johansen and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

The Oilers won Games 1 and 2 at Anaheim and they're grasping the concept that a higher price must be paid to win playoff games than to win regular-season exercises.

The Ducks pressed for an equalizer, and Rakell finally got it when he slipped a puck under a crowd that included center Ryan Kesler right next to Talbot. "It's a joke. If someone knows what goalie interference is anymore, please call me and tell me". "It's an absolute joke that especially two really good referees can't make the right call at the right time".

Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Drake Caggiula scored during a dominant second period, but the Oilers coughed up a big late lead despite solid play by Talbot, who stopped 60 shots. The deal was well worth it, as Cam has led all goaltenders this season with 73 games played, according to ESPN.

Remember, Nashville is still 7-2 in its last nine games and boasts a plethora of standout scorers to threaten anyone left in the postseason. Their entry in the playoffs was as third or fourth-line players and they got to pick their playoff experience up. "We had no idea he was on TV, and we were trying to get him on the big screen all game". Anyone who thought the Oilers would be one game away from the Western Conference final with Mark Letestu outscoring McDavid would have been laughed out of the room before the playoffs began. Well, just before Game 6, they learn that two of their top defensemen, Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera, wouldn't be available to them, and then they go out and blitz the Ducks with five first-period goals.

In 2016, it was Nashville in the first round; in 2015, Chicago in the third round; in 2014, Los Angeles in the second round. After Draisaitl's opener, McDavid capitalized on a two-man advantage by adroitly batting a puck out of midair for the fifth goal in his first Stanley Cup playoff run. Rickard Rakell wanted in on the fun and in order to do so needed a hand from both Perry and Fowler, this made it a 3-3 game with 0:15 seconds left.

A demotion for Ovechkin wasn't even the biggest development as Crosby took part in a full-contact practice Friday and could return following a concussion caused by a hit by Washington's Matt Niskanen in Game 3. Sekera has been deemed out for the series. The Ducks scratched D Clayton Stoner, D Simon Despres, RW Logan Shaw and RW Jared Boll. Kerdiles is the Ducks' first player from Orange County. Eaves missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury that had him in a walking boot earlier this week.

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