Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Edmonton Oilers Force Anaheim Ducks to a Game 7 with a 7-1 Victory

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Edmonton Oilers Force Anaheim Ducks to a Game 7 with a 7-1 Victory

Article excerpt

Oilers force Ducks to a Game 7 with a 7-1 win

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

Their Western Conference semifinal is going the distance after Edmonton's decisive 7-1 victory Sunday.

The winner of Wednesday's Game 7 in Anaheim meets the Nashville Predators in the conference final.

The Ducks have lost a Game 7 in their own building each of the last four years.

"The big test is coming up," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to have to park this one quickly and get ready for a big battle down there."

Leon Draisaitl led the Oilers with a hat trick and Mark Letestu scored twice Sunday. Edmonton also got goals from Zack Kassian and Anton Slepyshev in front a euphoric wall of orange at Rogers Place.

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot turned away 34-of-35 shots for the win.

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

Edmonton sprinted to a six-goal lead by the first minute of the second period before the Ducks countered with a lone goal from Rickard Rakell.

"For us to come out in the second period and get that sixth goal, that was big," Letestu said. "It showed we weren't going to get back on our heels and possibly let them get back into the hockey game."

The Oilers scoring three goals on their first six shots prompted Anaheim to replace John Gibson with Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 24-of-29 shots in relief.

Anaheim is under pressure to reverse a playoff trend.

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.

What's more, the Ducks led each of those series 3-2 before back-to-back losses ended their seasons.

"Half of the guys in here haven't been here for that stuff," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said.

"We're going back with the preparation to be ready for a big game. It doesn't really matter what the situation is. It is still win or go home. …

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