The winger's goal gave his team a 2-1 lead, and that was the final margin as the Ducks ended this second-round best-of-7 series, as well as their recent and deeply chronicled run of Game 7 misery. "Got to find a way to get over it".
Captain Ryan Getzlaf ended a monster series without a point on his 32nd birthday, but he contributed to a stellar defensive effort against National Hockey League scoring champion Connor McDavid, who went scoreless in Game 7 and managed just five points in the series. After the team's NHL-record three-goal comeback win in game five, they were just too spent to put up a fight in game six on May 7 when the Edmonton scored five times in the opening period alone.
In Anaheim's four Game 7 losses in this decade, Anaheim has never held a lead.
The deciding game in the Oilers' series against the Anaheim Ducks comes a day after a photo was released online, showing McDavid with two adoring fans at the Edmonton International Airport.
As for the revenge factor, Ducks center Ryan Kesler admitted that payback for the elimination at the hands of the Predators last season will add to their motivation. The rookie defenseman, looking like a rookie defenseman, gift-wrapped Edmonton the first goal.
"We've walked pretty much hand-in-hand in terms of what we're doing to accommodate players to the way he wanted to coach", Poile said. The Oilers only seemed to recover in the closing minute, creating two chances before returning to the dressing room. Again, we lost both of them but those are the kind of games of the flow within the flow. The extra minutes and responsibility are a load for any playoff newbie, but he said the biggest adjustment is the intensity of each shift.
"We couldn't really recover in the second, but we came back in the third with a good push", Caggiula said.
It should prove to be a valuable experience for the Oilers. "[I was] just trying to get on the plane as fast as I could". I don't think anybody thought we would be here. Now one week later, the Capitals have gotten back on even terms, and have set up a showdown for a spot in the third round to inch closer to that elusive Stanley Cup. He's done a great job of communicating to us and what he wants and how we need to be successful. "This is a special group right now".
"I'm happy, because I don't think we deserved to end our season tonight", Cogliano said.
It made them better. So the overall feeling right now is disappointment that we couldn't quite get it done.
"We're excited to get going and start working", Laviolette said. "When you get into a playoff scenario and it doesn't start well for you, it can snowball quickly". There is no question about which team has the edge in goaltending going into this final game of the series. With veterans Kevin Bieksa and Clayton Stoner sidelined for the final six games against Edmonton, Anaheim used a six-man group with nobody over 26 and averaging just 23.6 years old the youngest group among the NHLs 16 playoff teams.
NOTES: With Oilers D Andrej Sekera (undisclosed injury) out for the series, Eric Gryba was active for the second straight game.