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Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers force Game 7 af­ter blowout win over Ana­heim.

The Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers are forc­ing the Ana­heim Ducks to face their Game 7 play­off demons.

Their Western Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nal is go­ing the dis­tance af­ter Ed­mon­ton’s de­ci­sive 7-1 vic­tory Sun­day.

The win­ner of Wednesday’s Game 7 in Ana­heim meets the Nashville Preda­tors in the con­fer­ence fi­nal.

Leon Drai­saitl led the Oil­ers with a hat trick with Mark Letestu scor­ing twice for the hosts. Ed­mon­ton also got goals from Zach Kas­sian and An­ton Slepy­chev in front a eu­phoric wall of orange at Rogers Place.

Oil­ers goal­tender Cam Talbot turned away 34-of-35 shots for the win.

Ed­mon­ton had sprinted to a six-goal lead by the first minute of the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore the Ducks coun­tered with a lone goal from Rickard Rakell.

The Oil­ers scor­ing three goals on their first six shots prompted Ana­heim to re­place John Gib­son with Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 24-of-28 shots in re­lief.

Mo­men­tum has swung to Ed­mon­ton, while the Ducks are under pres­sure to re­verse a trend. Ana­heim has lost a Game 7 at home each of the last four years.

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.

What’s more, the Ducks led each of those se­ries 3-2 be­fore back-to-back losses ended their sea­sons.

The Oil­ers won twice in Ana­heim to open this se­ries and nar­rowly lost Game 5 there in dou­ble over­time.

Ed­mon­ton’s last Game 7 was the 2006 Stan­ley Cup fi­nal, which they lost 3-1 to the Carolina Hur­ri­canes in Raleigh, N.C.

Rogers Place was highly sen­si­tive to of­fi­ci­at­ing Sun­day given the per­ceived in­jus­tice of al­low­ing Fri­day’s ty­ing goal to with­stand a goal­tender in­ter­fer­ence chal­lenge.

The Oil­ers were up 3-0 and

on the cusp of tak­ing a 3-2 se­ries lead home when the Ducks be­came just the sec­ond team in NHL play­off his­tory to erase a three-goal deficit in the last four min­utes of reg­u­la­tion.

Ducks cen­tre Ryan Kesler had his glove on Talbot’s pad when Rakell put a back­hand be­tween his pads to tie it with 15 sec­onds re­main­ing. Corey Perry then scored the dou­ble-over­time win­ner.

So, the Oil­ers were a team on a mis­sion in Game 6.

Drai­saitl com­pleted his hat trick on a give-and-go with Mi­lan Lu­cic at 15:27 of the sec­ond pe­riod, when Kesler was serv­ing a rough­ing mi­nor.

On a cross-ice feed from Perry, Rakell caught Talbot out of his net to score for the Ducks at 8:56.

Slepy­chev ex­tended the host team’s lead to six goals 45 sec­onds into the pe­riod on an odd-man rush with Pa­trick Ma­roon.

Letestu put a one-timer over Bernier’s right pad for a pow­er­play

goal at 18:45 of the first pe­riod.

Bernier left the puck unat­tended in­stead of smoth­er­ing a re­bound, which gave Letestu two swings at it with suc­cess on his sec­ond try at 11:39.

Kas­sian won a footrace with Ducks de­fence­men for a loose puck in Ana­heim’s zone. He shook off Josh Man­son and beat Gib­son with a fore­hand five-hole at 8:25.

Gib­son was fooled by Drai­saitl’s no-look back­hand off a feed from Mi­lan Lu­cic at 7:22. Drai­saitl whiffed on break­away, but the puck had enough for­ward mo­men­tum to slide under Gib­son at 2:45.

Drai­saitl has a team-lead­ing four goals and nine as­sists in the se­ries.

Ed­mon­ton’s blue line ran with re­in­force­ments as Eric Gryba and Grif­fin Rein­hart drew in for An­drej Sekura and Os­car Klef­bom.

Sekura played less than two min­utes in Game 5 be­cause of an ap­par­ent leg in­jury. Klef­bom

took a shot in the chest and missed half a pe­riod, but re­turned to that game.

Klef­bom left warmup early Sun­day and was re­placed in the lineup by Rein­hart.

NASHVILLE 3, ST. LOUIS 1 NASHVILLE — Ryan Jo­hansen scored the game-win­ning goal 3:15 into the third pe­riod, and the Nashville Preda­tors ad­vanced to their first Western Con­fer­ence fi­nal in fran­chise his­tory Sun­day by beat­ing the St. Louis Blues 3-1 to take the se­ries in six games.

The Preda­tors won their ninth straight play­off game in Nashville go­ing back to last post­sea­son.

Goalie Pekka Rinne made 23 saves and had an as­sist. Ro­man Josi had a goal and an as­sist, and Calle Jarnkrok added an emp­tynet­ter with 60 sec­onds left.

Nashville will play ei­ther Ana­heim or Ed­mon­ton.

Paul Stastny scored for St. Louis, which fell short of a sec­ond straight con­fer­ence fi­nal.


Ana­heim Ducks’ An­toine Ver­mette (50) skates past as the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers cel­e­brate a goal dur­ing the first pe­riod in Game 6 of a sec­ond-round NHL hockey Stan­ley Cup play­off se­ries in Ed­mon­ton on Sun­day.

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