Oil­ers force Game 7 with Ducks

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DONNA SPENCER

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

Their Na­tional Hockey League 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 and 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.

Ed­mon­ton had sprinted to a six­goal lead by the first minute of the sec­ond be­fore the Ducks coun­tered with a 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.

Ana­heim has lost a Game 7 at home each of the past 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. Ed­mon­ton’s last Game 7 was the 2006 Stan­ley Cup fi­nal, which they lost 3-1 to the Carolina Hur­ri­canes in Raleigh, N.C.

JASON FRANSON, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Oil­ers Adam Lars­son, left, and Leon Drai­saitl cel­e­brate a first-pe­riod goal.

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