By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks took Game 5 in overtime by a final of 4-3 and look to close out the series tonight.
After the “Comeback on Katella” where the Ducks scored three goals in just over three minutes to force overtime and then win, the Ducks can end the series tonight. According to Randy Carlyle, Kevin Bieksa and Ondrej Kase could play tonight. Patrick Eaves is still unavailable. The Ducks had an optional practice today and Logan Shaw was not present. He may be out tonight after hurting himself in the first overtime of Game 5.
In the past, many have focused on how the Ducks have lost their last four Game 7s at home. Some forget the Ducks also lost the four Game 6s in those series as well. The Ducks have been up 3-2 five times in the last four postseasons against Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Nashville. In each series, the Ducks dropped Game 6 on the road and then Game 7 at home with the only exception being the series against Dallas where Anaheim won Game 6 on the road.
Keys To The Game
After going down 2-0 Game 4 and 3-0 in Game 5, the Ducks were able to rally both times to win each game in overtime. Anaheim has been able to comeback on the road and at home, but with the next round one game, it was would be good to see the Ducks get off to a good start. It’s been exciting hockey to see this team come from behind, but I am not sure how many fans hearts can take a third comeback. The Oilers are going to throw everything they have against the Ducks tonight. If the Ducks can get a lead and stay out of the penalty box, then the series can be theirs tonight.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
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The Oilers were shell-shocked at the end of Game 5. They built a 3-0 lead and held it until the final 3:16 of the game. The Ducks were able to pull their goalie and score three goals to force overtime and eventually win. If the Oilers want to force a Game 7, then they need to play a complete 60 minute. They were short one defenseman Andrej Sekera, who was injured early in Game 5. He is out for the remainder of this series. It looks like Eric Gryba could draw in.
Keys To The Game
The Oilers have built leads in the last two games and blown them each time. The Oilers are an inexperienced playoff team and it has started to show in the last few games. They are going to have to go all out to force a Game 7. They need to focus on their play and not the officiating on the ice.
Edmonton Projected Lineup
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Anton Slepyshev
Cam Talbot (Probable)
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May 7th, 2017