February 21, 2018

Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers in National Hockey League playoffs Game 7

12 May 2017, 04:59 | Marlene Fleming

Ducks eager for rematch with Rinne's Predators in West final

Anaheim Ducks center Andrew Cogliano celebrates after scoring

"I don't know whether from coaching or playing whether you get into a mental block or not", said Bruce Boudreau, who coached in Game 7 four times with the Capitals and four times with the Ducks.

The Oilers, should they be so fortunate to win Game 7 against the Ducks here Wednesday and keep rolling, would eventually be able to point at a few watershed moments of adversity: a 7-0 loss to San Jose, those $%#@&^%$ goalie interference calls, gagging on a 3-0 lead in Game 5 in Anaheim, and the war of attrition that has taken a toll on their blue line. So if Sunday's Game 6 setback triggered horrific flashbacks to the failures of the past, Carlyle, who is in the first year of his second go-round in Orange County, promptly detached himself from the lineage. Carlyle said the veteran's absence Tuesday was a "maintenance" day. He stopped 26 of 28 shots over the previous three hours - and 120 of 127 in the last three games - but it wasn't enough.

But even in defeat there's reason for hope among the Oilers, something that nearly every player, to a person, seemed to realize as the series loss set in. But we fell short in Game 7.

For some people, a stop at the airport is a time not to be bothered. We've all heard of a coach throwing his players under the bus. Mark Letestu added two goals while Anton Slepyshev and Zack Kassian scored one each. The Ducks got in trouble in Round 2 when Edmonton used its speed advantage to exploit the slower Anaheim forwards. I think we have come a long way. A Washington loss would mean that, for all the hype of the Alex Ovechkin era, the Great 8 will celebrate his 32nd birthday having never ventured past the postseason's second round. But, as McDavid said, this is the bump in the road that often comes for teams with championship aspirations, and the refrain often repeated by teams who've climbed the playoff mountain is they had to lose first to learn how to win.

Rickard Rakell scored the sole goal for the Ducks in game 6. Is it losing a series-deciding game at home for the third consecutive season or doing it one step away from the Stanley Cup Final?

If you're an Oilers fan who shelled out financially or emotionally for 10 years, and received so little in return, the team made a payment this spring. Anaheim won a Game 7, at home. Game 3 of the best-of-seven second-round AHL series is also tonight at the Valley View Casino Center.

Anaheim is certainly game for revising its franchise narrative.

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In Anaheim, the Oilers will battle with the Ducks in a do-or-die Game 7. Maybe there's collective shame in the pile-up of Game 7 losses.

It's not just simply the fact that two do-or-die games are being played in the second round, the National Basketball Association seems to be on the tract for the same situation, it's that all four of these teams playing tonight are capable of capturing Lord Stanley's Cup.

The playoff run is over. A less experienced player could have gotten nervous with such an opportunity to win the game by firing the puck directly at the goaltender.

McDavid has lived up to the hype in his first two seasons with the Oilers, including a league-leading 100 points during the 2016-17 regular season. The other two are Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

If the Ducks have proven one thing during their playoff run, it's their ability to overcome adversity. Bieksa averaged 18:45 of ice time during the season with three goals and 11 assists. Oshie, to his credit, was on the ice for eight goals for and two against in the series. But both of Perry's goals were relatively meaningless.

Nick Ritchie scored the winning goal 3:21 into the third period as the Ducks defeated the Oilers 2-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday night to win their second-round series.

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