The Anaheim Ducks do not have a good history in Game 7s.
In fact, they have lost five straight times when forced into a seventh and deciding game of a playoff series. They’re facing another winner-take-all situation, this time in the second round against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
The Oilers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first period of Sunday’s Game 6 and kept scoring in a 7-1 victory over the Ducks. It was bad all around for Anaheim. John Gibson was given the hook before the midway point of the first period and Jonathan Bernier gave up four goals of his own in relief. There was no chance of a miracle comeback this time.
And so it sets up the best the Stanley Cup playoffs can offer: A Game 7.
Anaheim’s recent inability to close out a series in such a situation dates back to 2009, although coach Randy Carlyle isn’t really interested in past history, which includes four straight playoffs in which the Ducks were sent packing after a Game 7 loss.
“I look at it as it’s not the same group,” said Carlyle. “I wasn’t here. So don’t pin any of the Game 7s on me. Simple as that.”
Carlyle coached the Ducks back in 2009 when they lost in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings. Bruce Boudreau was behind the bench for the past four seasons, including last year’s first-round defeat to the Nashville Predators — in seven games — that meant the end of his tenure in Anaheim.
“Our team is — we’ve got half the guys in here that haven’t been here for that stuff,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.
“We’re going back with the preparation to get ready for a big game. It doesn’t really matter what the situation is. It’s a matter of win or go home.”