Ducks' reward for Game 7 win is date with Rinne and Preds

Taylor Byrd
May 17, 2017

In Edmonton, German forward Leon Draisaitl paced the attack with five points, including three goals, and Mark Letestu had two goals and two assists as the Oilers levelled the series at 3-3. Pacific Division champion Anaheim, making its fifth appearance overall in the conference finals and second since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, swept Calgary in the opening round before overcoming the Game 7 albatross with a 2-1 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday to earn a rematch against the Predators.

Talbot played the most league games (73) and 13 more in the playoffs.

The Leafs were fortunate to have a strong offensive game led by Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner.

Anaheim advances to the Western Conference final to play the Nashville Predators.

"This time of year you can't have excuses", Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm told the Orange County Register. Early in the game, Anaheim dominated but Nashville did win faceoffs later that gave them possession.

The Ducks' desire to dump Bobby Ryan in the summer of 2013 is finally starting to work out for the Senators, who paid a hefty price of Jakob Silfverberg and prospect Stefan Noesen (more on that later) to get the scoring winger.

They showed grit and guile while bouncing back from a blowout loss in Game 6 and yet another early deficit in a seventh game, silencing the echoes of past winner-take-all events.

What may not be getting enough credit in this playoff run so far is the play of Nashville's penalty kill. He started the postseason slowly, but is coming on, with three goals (and 18 shots on goal) in the past four games. "We continue to get contributions from everyone". Johansen blossomed into an even better player since then and his line was a possession juggernaut, notching 17 more shot attempts per 60 minutes for the Preds compared to when he's on the bench. Has 3 goals and 1 assist in 10 games.

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Ducks are a slight favorite at home in Game 1, as they are getting odds of -115 to win.

Ritchie beat Cam Talbot 3:21 into the third period, his second career playoff goal putting the Ducks ahead in a game seven for the first time in five years - and ahead of the Oilers for the first time in almost 193 minutes since late in game four.

The Predators also opened the playoffs with a sweep, upsetting the Chicago Blackhawks. They won two out of three in the 2011 first round, including a huge Game 5 victory when Jerred Smithson scored with 1:57 gone into overtime.

We'll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game.

"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.

Game two of the best-of-seven series is scheduled to be played at Honda Center on Sunday.

As defenseman Shea Theodore sent the puck toward the Predators' goal, no less than five players - including Kase, Getzlaf and Ritchie - congested the front of the net. By total value, GAR is a big Getzlaf fan, though the two had similar average Game Scores. It was he and Ryan Kesler who had blocked shots to pair with two critical save by goalie John Gibson.

It wasn't long before the Ducks were looking at a 2-0 deficit and the Predators were having their way. And the one thing that we've stated is that the will that has been demonstrated by the penalty killing units that our power play has been up against has exceeded our power play's will. They're a team that comes at you really hard and forces you to make plays under pressure and gives you absolutely nothing of free ice. With their season done, there was still a sense of missed opportunity and definitely residual frustration over what they felt was a missed goalie-interference call on Anaheim's last-minute tying goal in Game 5.

"Well, I don't think that we can afford to have the start that we had today", Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle explained in his postgame press conference.

An injury sidelined Kevin Bieksa for all but Game 1 of the second round against Edmonton but the veteran has recovered to be an "option" to Carlyle. He was full of holes against the Oilers, allowing 19 goals against in seven games and posting a.895 save percentage.

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