There was no way the Edmonton Oilers were going to let this lead get away.
After three straight losses, including Friday’s double OT defeat that included an epic and controversial third-period collapse, the Oilers rebounded to crush the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 7-1 on Sunday, forcing a seventh and deciding game on Wednesday.
The winner advances to the Western Conference Final to meet the Nashville Predators.
Oddly enough, on a night when the Oilers scored a converted touchdown, Connor McDavid didn’t even hit the score sheet. Instead, Leon Draisaitl lit it up with a five-point night, including a hat trick. He has 13 points in this series alone, and he started the Oilers on the right foot in the first period.
Draisaitl had a pair of goals in the opening period. He misfired on a breakaway opportunity after getting hooked from behind, but the puck still managed its way by John Gibson, who didn’t last long. Gibson gave up three goals in the first 8:25 of play and was promptly placed on the bench. Not that his replacement, Jonathan Bernier, fared any better. The Oilers ran away with this one.
By the end of the first period, it was 5-0.
By the end of the second period, it was 7-1.
Game 6 over (but not before some post-whistle shenanigans). Game 7 coming up.
While the Oilers were far and away the better team on Sunday, there is quite a challenge ahead of them Wednesday. They are without defenseman Andrej Sekera for the remainder of this series. Oscar Klefbom didn’t play in Game 6. With those two players out, Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart were inserted into the lineup.
Reinhart, selected fourth overall by the Islanders in 2012 and now in the Oilers organization, played the entire 2016-17 season in the AHL. With a spot in the final four up for grabs, the Oilers’ situation on defense is one to keep an eye on for Game 7.