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5 Reasons: Why Oilers were eliminated

Lack of secondary scoring, blown leads among factors in second-round loss to Ducks

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers came up one win short of the Western Conference Final, losing 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round at Honda Center on Wednesday. 

They Oilers won the first two games of the series in Anaheim before losing the next three. They blew a 3-0 lead with 3:16 left in the third period of a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 5. They rebounded with a 7-1 victory in Game 6 to force Game 7 but were unable to complete the comeback.

The Oilers qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006, when they made it to the Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.  

Here are 5 reasons the Oilers were eliminated:

1. Lack of secondary scoring

Forwards Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Benoit Pouliot did not score a goal in Edmonton's 13 playoff games. Pouliot did not have a point; Nugent-Hopkins had four assists and Eberle had two. Though Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot contributed defensively and on the penalty kill, their lack of production hurt Edmonton and put too much onus on the rest of the group to provide offense in every game. 

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm2: Gibson dives to stop Eberle's attempt


2. Failure to hold home-ice advantage

The Oilers returned to Edmonton for Game 3 with a 2-0 lead in the series after two wins in Anaheim but were unable to build on them. They lost 6-3 in Game 3 and 4-3 in overtime in Game 4, allowing the Ducks to tie the series and regain the home-ice advantage. Anaheim won its final two home games to clinch the series. 


3. Blown three-goal lead in Game 5

The Oilers appeared to be on their way to a critical Game 5 win in Anaheim when they led 3-0 late in the third period, but it all unraveled quickly. Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf scored at 16:44 to make it 3-1. Defenseman Cam Fowler made it 3-2 at 17:19 and forward Rickard Rakell tied it off a scramble in front with 15 seconds left. The Oilers claimed goaltender interference on the tying goal, but it was upheld after a brief review. Forward Corey Perry scored at 6:57 of the second overtime to complete the comeback for Anaheim. 

Video: EDM@ANA, Gm5: Perry, Ducks stage rally for 2OT win 


4. No breakout game for Connor McDavid

McDavid did not have a point in the final two games of the series. The 20-year-old center led the NHL with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) during the regular season and had five points (three goals, two assists) against the Ducks. Anaheim center Ryan Kesler, who lined up against McDavid for most of the series, kept him in check. McDavid had one multipoint game in the playoffs, one goal and one assist in Game 5 against the Ducks. He had a League-best 30 multipoint games in the regular season. 


5. Difficulty containing Ryan Getzlaf

Getzlaf did most of his damage against the Oilers in Games 3, 4 and 5. He had two points (one goal, one assist) in Game 3 and four points (two goals, two assists) in Game 4. Getzlaf started the three-goal comeback in Game 5 and set up Perry for the game-winner in overtime. The Oilers did keep Getzlaf off the scoresheet in the final two games of the series, but by then he had gotten the Ducks back into the series.

Video: Johnson and MacLean recap Game 7 of Oilers-Ducks

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