Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NHL Ducks, Penguins win to advance to conference finals

NHL Ducks, Penguins win to advance to conference finals

I think that we're just going to have to continue to do those little things that have brought us success and attacking and defending as a five-man unit. The Senators' resiliency pushed them through Round 2, as they came back to win Games 1, 2 and 5. Anaheim had to win four of the final five games to reach the conference finals.

Neal is confident the Predators' journey through the post season prepared them well for the Ducks.

Pekka Rinne stopped 27 shots for the Predators, who are 9-2 in the playoffs after failing to win more than seven games in a single postseason. That gives him a playoff leading line of an astounding.951 SV% and 1.37 GAA. Predators defenseman P.K. Subban is a must-watch every time he hops over the boards, and he has put up seven points in 10 playoff games so far.

Greanya remembers watching the Oilers during their glory days in the 1980s, winning Stanley Cups with the like of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and others.

Again the Preds' blue-liners were huge in the game. Caggiula's opportunistic score had the Ducks playing from behind inside the opening 6:19 for the fourth year in a row, but they avoided conceding a second goal in the first 20 minutes unlike their previous home-ice flameouts.

In the end, a veteran Anaheim team, determined to change its own history after all those Game 7 defeats, refused to let Edmonton become the fifth team in a row to beat them on that stage. Rinne was 1-1-1 with a 2.63 GAA and.919 save percentage. Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen both have nine points in the playoffs to lead the team. But Ducks coach Randy Carlyle has one edge on his Preds counterpart: a Stanley Cup ring. The Ducks killed them off and used it as fuel for a fine third period generally, but many people in the hockey world buried their foreheads.

Andrew Cogliano scored the tying goal midway through the second period for the Ducks, who had blown a 3-2 series lead and lost a game seven on home ice in four consecutive seasons. We'll see how we are when the game starts but we'll play. Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 15 points (8G, 7A) in the postseason and is plus-9.

National Football League owners add one IR return option, reduce penalties for player celebrations
Over the last five years, with the 15-minute period in use, the league has averaged about one tie game each season. Playoff games also will use 10-minute time blocks in overtime but won't end in ties.

Still, it would have been valuable to force the Predators to play from behind in a series for the first time in these playoffs.

If the Ducks didnt know it before the series started, they definitely know it now: The Oilers are for real. The Ducks are deep and loaded with young defensemen, while Nashville has two Norris Trophy-caliber defenders in Subban and Roman Josi. Eaves had 32 regular-season goals combined with Dallas and Anaheim.

This is the first NHL Game 7 for Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot and the majority of the Oilers, who as a franchise last played in one in 2006.

The Predators have morphed from a defence-first team under Barry Trotz to a balanced squad that has some offensive pop in the two-season reign under Peter Laviolette.

That back-end might have overwhelmed its counterpart in Chicago and St. Louis, but the Predators may find more of a match in Anaheim. Rinne had 36 saves in that one. The Ducks' Jared Boll shouldered Nashville's Calle Jamkrok right in the chops, without a call, and Ryan Getzlaf sent Victor Arvidsson face-frirst into the boards and didn't get a boarding whistle. Gibson was 1-1-0 with a 3.09 GAA and.894 save percentage.

But for the Oilers to get a win tonight, head coach Todd McLellan says it will take a complete team effort.

This is one of those rest vs. rust arguments. But it's not likely against a hot Nashville team that's rolling through the playoffs as if they've been here many times before. The Ducks, meanwhile, are playing just 48 hours after eliminating the Oilers in a draining series.

Like this: