This is it: Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs series between the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks. It’s win or go home, and both teams will do everything to win tonight.
Game 6 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada showed the Oilers using their speed and athleticism to great advantage, scoring six goals — five in the first period — before Anaheim could put a puck in the net. The Ducks looked unprepared to skate with the Oilers and their two goalies, John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier, were terrible, as the score indicates.
Edmonton easily beat the Anaheim defense in the first period, which, along with the poor goaltending, allowed Edmonton to put five goals on the boards.
In that game Leon Draisaitl scored a Hat Trick, finishing the night with five points. Their All Star Connor McDavid didn’t even get a point in the game, proving once again focusing on McDavid leaves room for other Oilers to step up to make the plays.
On the other hand McDavid was able to get the puck into the Ducks’ zone unassisted as he skated past everyone that tried to defend him.
The Edmonton Oilers are the better team in many regards, but they can’t rest on their laurels and expect to win tonight. The Ducks are a big, brutal team and they have the ability to wear down their opponents with big hits and a suffocating defense. In Sunday’s game there were 21 penalties, 13 of them by the Ducks.
Interestingly enough, Edmonton took advantage of just two power plays in the game. The penalty kill for both teams was good.
In game 5 the Ducks came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the final seconds of the third period and then win the game in over time.
Anaheim needs to play like they did in Game 3, which was at Rogers Place in Edmonton. They jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first period, getting to Oilers goalie Cam Talbot early. Plus they scored in all three periods and only had four penalties — none in the third period.
The Oilers have to take advantage of the Ducks’ starting goalie early, like they did on Sunday. If they don’t it’s going to be another long, brutal night.
So far in this series Ryan Getzlaf has been the go-to guy for Anaheim. He, along with Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Kesler, and the rest of the team will have to play their best hockey if they expect to advance to the next round to face the Nashville Predators.
The Ducks have a history of losing Game Sevens at home in the playoffs. It has happened the last four years. Can they break that trend?
Right now the Ottawa Senators are waiting on the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals to finish their Game 7 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Pens are leading that game, 1-0, in the second period.
There is the possibility we see two Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Final this year. The Vancouver Canucks were in the Final in 2011 and the Senators lost to the Ducks in 2007. The last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. They beat the Los Angeles Kings.
We have to go back to 1989 for the last time two Canadian teams were in the Stanley Cup Final. The Calgary Flames defeated the Montreal Canadiens in a six-game series.
This should be an exciting game at the Honda Center tonight — Game 7 between the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks. Game time is 7 p.m. Check your local listings for NBCSN to watch the game.
Below is Claudia Gestro’s video report from Game 5.
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Photos by Claudia Gestro
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