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Oilers not preparing differently for Game 7 against Ducks

Edmonton won't count on momentum carrying over after convincing victory to remain alive in playoffs

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers have gone through a wide range of emotions during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and hope to use those experiences to their benefit in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Edmonton is looking to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006. 

"There have been a lot of highs and lows throughout each series (first round against the San Jose Sharks) and we have shown some good character," Oilers forward Patrick Maroon said after practice Tuesday. "This Anaheim Ducks team is a really good veteran team and I think we've been responding really well. There is nothing better than going into a Game 7 with all the excitement and what's at stake."

The Oilers tied the best-of-7 series 3-3 with a 7-1 win in Game 6 at Rogers Place on Sunday. Captain Connor McDavid said the lopsided win does not have any effect on Game 7.

 

[RELATED: Complete Ducks-Oilers series coverage]

 

"Not at all; we've been on the other side of that," McDavid said. "We lost 7-0 in Game 4 last series and we found a way to win two in a row. I've always kind of said that in the playoffs, game to game, it's always a different story. It doesn't matter how we won Game 6, it just matters that we won and we get an opportunity to play Game 7."

Edmonton has not played a Game 7 since losing 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

"Stay even keel, it doesn't really matter what's going on in the game," McDavid said. "[Anaheim] proved that you can come back from just about anything and we've come back from situations as well. We can't get too high, can't get too low, you just have to stay even keel. Game 7 is going to be high emotion, a lot of different things going on, it's important everyone stays focused on the task at hand."

The Oilers had a brief practice at Rogers Place before departing for Anaheim on Tuesday. Defensemen Oscar Klefbom took part and is expected to play after sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 5 after being hit with a shot. He did not play in Game 6.

Forward Leon Draisaitl had five points (three goals, two assists) in Game 6 and has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the series.

Video: Draisaitl ignites Oilers' offense with hat trick

"I think we've learned so many lessons in this playoff round," Draisaitl said. "We've won a game in every different way, we've lost a game in every different way. We've come back, we've lost the lead, I think we've been through it all in this playoff run, and now it's just a matter of showing up. We need guys to play their best tomorrow night and I'm very confident we will.

"I don't think we'll be nervous, I think we'll be excited, we'll be ready to go. Obviously, a lot of us, including me, we haven't been in this situation, going into Game 7, but if you make too big of a big deal about it, you'll get nervous. For us, it's just a matter of going out there and playing our game and trying to win this game."

The Oilers have responded well to adversity in the playoffs. After losing 7-0 at the Sharks in Game 4 of the first round, Edmonton won 4-3 in overtime in Game 5 and 3-1 in Game 6 to win the series.

Against Anaheim, Edmonton lost 4-3 in overtime in Game 3, blowing a 3-0 lead with 3:16 left in the third period and responded with a 7-1 win.

"The mindset has to be putting ourselves back in Game 4 against San Jose of losing a game like that and rebounding," Oilers forward Milan Lucic said. "You have to prepare like we did for Game 6 but you also need some caution that it's not going to be easy again because you scored seven goals the game before."

Oilers coach Todd McLellan said, "Preparation is important and we're doing that right now. First of all, we rest, we get preparation, and we play our game. It's going to sound a lot like what they're saying. If you over-emphasize anything, you play outside you skin, we've done that in the playoffs already where it's caused us problems. We prepare like it's any other day, we have the same order of meetings, we have the same adjustments, and we expect the players to play at their best, leave it all on the ice, look up at the scoreboard at the end of the night and believe that it can favor you."

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