Preds reach 1st Western final in team history, ousting Blues

09 May 2017, 08:08 | Kristine Mills

And folks, if they don't find a way to stop Leon Draisaitl, this series is over.

Ryan Getzlaf has been a force thus far in the series, scoring seemingly at will and physically running over the Oilers, but his stats in the Ducks' previous Games 6 and 7 losses?

Draisaitl scored twice early in the game en route to a hat trick, and Oilers scored five times in the first period of a 7-1 rout of the Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid celebrates after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period in Game 5 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 5, 2017.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Nashville Predators' quest for their first conference finals appearance continues.

The Oilers still built a 3-0 series lead before squandering it in the final minutes and losing in double overtime to go down 3-2 in the series.

Draisaitl continued to produce against Anaheim.

Perry finished with a goal and two assists, posting another memorable playoff game following an unimpressive regular season for the former NHL MVP.

After a disastrous start to the series in Anaheim, the Ducks returned home with confidence and two gritty road wins, including an overtime victory in Game 4.

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Louis Blues put the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference final for the first time in their 18-year franchise history. With a lot of his ice time coming against Malkin in this series, Kuznetsov has scored four goals in five games.

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"It's the same as we did after Game 2", he said. "We played 82 games to get to this position to have home ice and we're going to try and take advantage of that. We proved that to each other tonight". The Edmonton Oilers have allowed a combined 14 goals in their last three games. "I have to come up with a couple of saves and maybe it's different, maybe it's not. We feel we have a capable group that can go out and have success". "So I would say they had a positive impact on the game". Not our game plan, but it's two talented teams. The Ducks are going to need better goaltending to have any hope of winning in Game Seven.

Edmonton sprinted to a six-goal lead by the first minute of the second period before the Ducks countered with a lone goal from Rickard Rakell. He came in on a break and was hooked from behind by Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

Draisaitl whiffed on breakaway, but the puck had enough forward momentum to slide under Gibson 2:45 into the game. Then his no-look backhand, off a feed from Milan Lucic, fooled Gibson at 7:22.

Sekera did not return, leaving the Oilers with only four defencemen for part of the second when Kris Russell was also shaken up. He capped of his hat trick with 4:33 left in the second period.

The game took so long that it started on Cinco de Mayo and almost ended on Seis de Mayo.

NOTES: Getzlaf missed the net on a first-period penalty shot. Reinhart, playing his first game for the Oilers this season, got an assist.

"We know what's at stake, and you don't have to have a lot of experience to figure that out", Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "It's an absolute joke that especially two really good referees can't make the right call at the right time". "Griffin was the wild card, but he came in and he played very admirably, he did a good job". He's coming off a 77-point season, the first in which he played all 82 games in the National Hockey League.

The Ducks now have won two straight overtime games, tapping their experience. "The best way to play against elite-level players is to put time and effort into them playing in their zone", he said. The series is tied at 3-3, and the two teams will play a seventh and deciding game at Honda Center Wednesday night. Patrick Eaves and Logan Shaw were back in Orange County, with Eaves sitting out for a third consecutive game because of a foot injury incurred in a Game 3 collision with Edmonton's Patrick Maroon.

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