The Ducks recent playoff history doesn't point in their favour, however.
Put aside for a moment the growing issues that the National Hockey League has with its definition of goaltender interference, and the wonky review system that goes with it.
The Oilers were three and a half minutes from a shutout victory in last night's Game 5 against the Ducks. Pacific time Friday night, leaving Easterners in a state of disbelief when they awoke to headlines declaring the Ducks winners.
Back in the spring of 1994, the New York Rangers' captain famously guaranteed his club, which hadn't won a Cup in 50 years, would stay alive against the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference final, down 3-2 in the series.
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Heading into Game 6, there was nothing untrue about what the Oilers' players were saying.
Slepychev extended the Oilers' lead to 6-0 in the opening minute of the second period before Rakell got the Ducks on the scoreboard just shy of the 9-minute mark. That's why there's such an emphasis on building through the draft in today's game, because you can't really trade for or sign those guys. "We scratched and clawed at the end and found a way to get back into that game to give ourselves an opportunity".
"I can't tell you anymore. It's just hard to make that determination now".
With a fourth straight win, they would earn their second trip to the Western Conference finals in three seasons. Through 18 total career games (regular season and playoffs), he has 13 goals and 26 points against the Ducks. The game remained tied until the second overtime, when Corey Perry beat Cam Talbot with a couple of clever feints and slipped the puck in the back of the net. We didn't play good. "It's not because of the process". For all the overtimes and tightly contested series we've experienced so far, none have gone the distance. That much was clear from the outset when goalie John Gibson couldn't keep the five-hole closed and the rest of the Ducks had no match for the Oilers' physicality and sheer force of will. "We can regroup. I think there's a few guys that need to do soul-searching, including myself. There wasn't a lot going on for us".
The Penguins have tremendous firepower in Sidney Crosby (returned from a concussion in Game 5), Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel.
Edmonton's last Game 7 was 11 years ago, when the Oilers fell 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup final. "Numbers-wise, we're pretty young, but Leon's a man and Connor has been through the spotlight and when you bounce back like this it takes maturity". He has nine points (2 G, 7 A) in 10 playoff games. "(That) was Game 7.
In any case, the Blues did well to make the playoffs, reversing fortunes after they fired Ken Hitchcock and replaced him with Mike Yeo, but the most dramatic change was the goaltending of Jake Allen. (Friday) night wasn't like that. It could have been over last night too. We all saw it. It was a tough loss to take but these series, anything can happen, as you've seen.
And as a result, he created an attitude around his team that it was them against the world, that they would never get a break and that their failings could be, at least in part, attributed to the fact that they were targeted. "That was a Game 7", he said.
Look for the Rangers to play their best game of the series in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden. Perhaps, even if the Oilers hang on to win Game 5, Anaheim continues the trend of road wins in Game 6 and the series closes out at Disneyland anyhow. Give me Edmonton to get the victory here. "But we all know what he's capable of". That is leadership. Coach Todd McLellan said his bit, and then basically kicked the crutch out from under his team. He scored in overtime of Game 3 against Calgary in the first round.