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game recap

Ducks win Game 7, eliminate Oilers to reach Western Final

Nick Ritchie scores tiebreaking goal early in third period

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks ended a streak of four consecutive Game 7 losses at home with a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center on Wednesday.

The Ducks advanced to the Western Conference Final and will play the Nashville Predators in Game 1 here Friday. It is the second time in three seasons Anaheim has reached the conference final.

"We deserved to win that because we kept coming and kept playing," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "It just feels awesome."

 

[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Oilers highlights | RELATED: Complete Anaheim vs. Edmonton series coverage]

 

Nick Ritchie scored at 3:21 of the third period to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead. He received a pass from Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen and shot it under the right arm of Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot.

"I just kind of looked up and shot it," Ritchie said. "I [saw Ryan Getzlaf] put his hands up. He had a good view of it."

John Gibson made 23 saves for the Ducks, who won four of the last five games in the best-of-7 series but lost Game 6 7-1.

"The overall feeling right now is disappointment," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "But we basically got a college degree in a month."

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm7: Getzlaf discusses the Ducks' series win

The Oilers took a 1-0 lead at 3:31 of the first period off a mistake by Ducks defenseman Shea Theodore. Anaheim forward Ryan Kesler avoided a forecheck by Patrick Maroon by making a short pass to Theodore behind the net. Theodore had Josh Manson open for a pass as he skated out from behind the goal but elected to cut in front of Gibson.

Oilers forward Drake Caggiula checked Theodore as he moved in front of the crease, knocking him into Gibson, who fell back into his net as the puck slid through his pads and across the goal line. It was Caggiula's third goal in the past four games.

"We were down 1-0 for a little bit, and we didn't panic," Ritchie said. "We actually started to play better once they scored."

Anaheim tied the game at 1-1 at 8:55 of the second period on Cogliano's first goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I thought our learning process was good," Getzlaf said. "We had some adversity to start the game and we were able to overcome it."

The Ducks outshot the Oilers 16-3 in the period.

"It's going to take some time to get over it, but there are a lot of positives," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "We battled hard up and down the lineup."

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm7: Caggiula chips puck past Gibson

 

Goal of the game

Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour sent an off-speed shot at the net from the right point and the rebound came to Kesler. His backhand was stopped by Talbot, who rolled onto his stomach making the save. Cogliano beat Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse to the puck and put it into the net.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm7: Cogliano knocks in a loose puck

 

Save of the game

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl muscled his way toward the Ducks net while closely defended by Antoine Vermette, and Draisaitl's backhand from in close was saved by Gibson at 10:26 of the third period to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm7: Gibson absorbs Draisaitl's backhand

 

Highlight of the game

Anaheim forward Corey Perry shot wide of the net, but Vatanen retrieved the puck in the corner and passed it from below the goal line to Ritchie, who scored from the right circle.

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm7: Ritchie wires a wrister past Talbot

 

Unsung performance of the game

Manson had 11 hits to surpass his previous NHL career-high of 10 set against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 15. He led Anaheim to a 39-23 edge in hits.

 

They said it

"The guys should not hang their heads. What we did this year was truly amazing. The future is bright for this team. We're a really good hockey team that can do some damage in the near future." -- Oilers forward Patrick Maroon

 

"We're playing with a lot of confidence and we believe in each other." -- Ducks goalie John Gibson

 

Need to know

The Ducks were called for offside as Cam Fowler shot into the net at 14:55 of the first period. … Teams that do not score first in Game 7 are 43-125. … Anaheim won a Stanley Cup Playoff series after trailing 2-0 for the first time. … The Ducks are 22-12 since the 2015 playoffs started, the best winning percentage in the NHL (.647). … The Ducks gave up the first goal in the first 6:19 of their past five Game 7 appearances. … Perry has six points (one goal, five assists) in the past four games. … Cogliano had not scored since March 26. … Nashville finished its six-game series against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. … Anaheim lost the 2015 conference final to the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.

 

What's next

Oilers: season over

Ducks: Game 1 of Western Conference Final against Nashville Predators at Honda Center on Friday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports)

 

Video: Ducks down Oilers in Game 7, move on to WCF

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