Sunday, May 7, 2017

Foiled by the Oil: Ducks Drop Game 6 with a Thud

The Edmonton Oilers weren't about to let another one slip away.

After a heartbreaking Game 5 loss that saw them blow a three-goal lead in the final three-plus minutes, the upstart Oilers came out with a vengeance in front of the Rogers Place faithful on Sunday night in Edmonton.

The scored early.

They scored often.

Then they scored some more.

Leon Draisaitl recorded a hat trick and Mark Letestu scored twice to power the Oilers to a 7-1 victory. The win sets up a Game 7 at Anaheim's Honda Center on Wednesday night, a building that has seen the Ducks lose a Game 7 in each of the last four seasons.

"Obviously the season was on the line and we all had to step it up a notch and the whole group did," Draisaitl said after his three goals pushed his totals to 6-10-16 for the posteason.

The German struggled at the start of the playoffs when an illness sapped his strength in the first four games, but he has hit his stride since. He becomes one of just five Edmonton oilers in history to record two four-point playoff games in a single postseason with his effort tonight.

The Oilers potted three goals on their first six shots to chase Ducks goalie John Gibson from the game.

After winning in dramatic fashion on Friday in Anaheim, the Ducks will face even more pressure as the return home to reverse a concerning 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.

The difference between those losses and this year? Randy Carlyle is in has head coach for Bruce Boudreau.

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

When asked what what wrong in Game 6, Ducks coach had a simple answer: "Everything."

He added: "It's not the same group, and I wasn't here. So don't pin any of the Game 7's on me. Simple as that. This is a different group. ... We're not afraid to go into our building and play a solid hockey game, and that's what is going to be required.