Anaheim 2 vs. Edmonton 1
May 10, 2017
Ducks win series 4-3
The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in Game 7 at Honda Center to win their Second Round series and advance to the 2017 Western Conference Final. Anaheim will host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Friday, May 12 at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT).
The Ducks have qualified for the Western Conference Final for the fifth time in franchise history. It is also their second trip to the Conference Finals in the last three years (joining only Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, 2), their fourth since 2006 (joining only Chicago, 5, and Pittsburgh, 5) and their fifth since 2003 (joining only Chicago and Pittsburgh, 5).
The Ducks erased a 0-2 series deficit for the first time in club history. Prior to Anaheim's series win, NHL teams had an all-time series record of 48-309 when losing the first two games of a series (13.4%).
Anaheim is 8-3 this postseason (.727 win%), second to only Nashville (8-2, .800).
The Ducks are 22-12 in the postseason since the start of the 2015 playoffs, leading the NHL in win percentage (.647) and leading the Western Conference in wins (Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 25) over that stretch.
Nick Ritchie scored his second goal of the playoffs, his first career GWG, at 3:21 of the third period to give the Ducks the lead. Sami Vatanen earned his first point of the playoffs with an assist on the goal, while Corey Perry notched his seventh assist. With the assist, Perry extended his point streak to four games (1-5=6).
Andrew Cogliano tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal of the postseason at 8:55 of the second period. Ryan Kesler and Brandon Montour each drew assists on the Cogliano tally. Montour has three assists in his last five postseason games, while Kesler has 1-5=6 points in his last seven games.
John Gibson earned his first career Game 7 victory, stopping 23-of-24 shots.
Cam Fowler appeared in his 56th career playoff game, tying Scott Niedermayer for seventh on the franchise all-time games played list and second among defensemen.
Tonight's attendance was 17,407, a sellout including standing room only.
On the victory
It feels good. We grinded hard tonight. Hard-fought series. I'm glad we were able to come out on top.
On what was different this time around
Our learning process was good. I've gone back to it many times. The way we've played the last half of the season where we've learned to deal with adversity. We had to do that tonight. We gave up an early goal and gave up a lot of goals the other night. Our team played great. Our goalie played unbelievable.
On the Oilers
Great hockey team. The amount of young talent they have and the structure Todd [McLellan] had them playing with made them hard to beat. Every game was a hard-fought battle. We expected nothing less tonight and we came out on top.
On the victory
We deserved to win this game. It was one of our best games of the season in terms of how we competed. We could've gotten down on ourselves after letting the first goal in. We played a great game. We kept playing. It just feels awesome.
On Ritchie's goal
We needed goals from other guys. We said it after the last game. We needed other guys to step up and give some support to guys like [Getzlaf], [Rakell] and [Silfverberg]. They've been carrying the load for the last couple series. We're going to need other guys to step up and score big goals.
On the game
It was a huge win for us. We're moving forward as one of the final four teams. I'm excited to get going with Nashville.
On his goal
Sami [Vatanen] made a great pass in the middle and I got it on net and it went in. We got a break there. I looked up, shot it and saw it sneak in.
Head Coach Randy Carlyle
On using home ice advantage
We worked hard and we played very well for 60 games of the season to get home ice advantage. Nobody can take that away from us. Nobody in that dressing room on their side would've said they wouldn't want home ice advantage.
On the turning point of the game
The turning point in the game for us was our fourth line went out and got us a grind shift in the second period. Every other line after that until the end of the second period followed that up. We had them on the run. We were out-changing them, had some momentum swings and our crowd really got into it. I have to credit those guys for their effort and what they did in that specific situation. We had a real solid second period and our fans got really emotionally involved, and so did our players. We did it in the right way.
On the Oilers
If you go seven games with a hockey club, and lose the first two in your building, they've done a lot of good things over there. They have the most dynamic young player in the league right now. You have two hockey clubs that competed very hard. There is no way you can discount the effort of their young players, but we have some young players that played pretty good, too.
On the game
They were ready to go tonight. We got the start we wanted, but we sat back after that and they capitalized on their chances.
On how the Oilers will use this emotion next season
Obviously it will take some time to get over it. There's a lot of positives we can take from this year. We won't have to answer that experience question anymore, which is nice. Come next season, we'll find ourselves in a similar spot, and we'll be able to look back on this and feel this disappointment and know what it's like.
On the Oilers' growth throughout the season
From last year, finishing near the bottom of the league, and this year we came out strong and we grew as a group. You can see we took that next step this year. Don't think anyone thought we'd be here right now, one period away from a conference final, at the start of the season. I'm proud to be a part of this group, and I look forward to a future with this team.
On the Ducks' play
They played a defensive game tonight. They didn't give us a whole lot through the middle, we didn't generate a lot off the rush. They did a good job with their back pressure and taking away our time and space tonight. They didn't give up much, and that's the way they usually play. That's a very good team over there. Heck of a game by them.
Head Coach Todd McLellan
On the emotion felt after the loss
There's two streams of feeling. We're disappointed now, obviously. We didn't come into the playoffs just to win. Our team played that way, prepared that way, and battled that way. The overall feeling now is of disappointment, we couldn't get it done. Remove that and look at the big picture, our entry into the playoffs was about as good as we could ask. The type of teams we played, the series we played in, the ups and the downs, we basically got a college degree in a month when it comes to the payoffs. That experience for us moving forward is going to be very helpful. I looked around the room when we were done and we had a moment together, and the amount of bumps, bruises, scraps, ice bags, and scrawny boney looking players is a good sign for us. It wasn't long ago we talked about coming into these buildings during the regular season and just trying to survive, and now we are pushing and can compete with these teams. We're going the right direction. We've gained a lot of experience. I'm not going to talk about the future yet, because we're still observing this. It's too bad we couldn't get one more goal.
On McDavid's play throughout the series
It was tremendous. He did everything he possibly could. He played 25 or 26 minutes tonight. He was our leader. He did many things you don't see. There was a glimpse of it after the comeback here in Anaheim where he took care of the team. There's a lot done for a 20-year-old captain that nobody sees. His play speaks for itself. We wouldn't be at this spot without him, or the rest of this team. We learned we can't win with just one individual, so I thought he was tremendous.