Ducks eager for rematch with Rinne's Predators in West final

They needed something good to happen early so the demons that have been accumulating like dust in the rafters after four years worth of Game 7 failures didn't start floating down to ice level.

Nick Ritchie scored the winning goal 3:21 into the third period as the Ducks defeated the Oilers 2-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday night to win their second-round series.

Anaheim advances to the Western Conference finals against the Nashville Predators.

Anaheim Ducks center Andrew Cogliano, left, scores past Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, right, and Oilers' Darnell Nurse during the second period in Game 7 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Anaheim, . "Got to find a way to get over it".

Nashville twice won Game 1 and went on to claim the previous two series with major help from Rinne, who usually has been at his inimitable best when facing the Ducks' scorers.

The Ducks pulled out the post-season's most dramatic comeback thus far in Game 5, clawing back from a 3-0 deficit in the latter half of the third period before completing their effort in double-overtime. The Ducks finally succeeded in tying the game up 8:55 into the second.

Jakob Silfverberg scored on the Ducks' first shot, and John Gibson stopped 43 shots.

"We held tight there", Ritchie said.

"Obviously, it's a new year, new teams, (but) for some of us, it means a little bit more", Anaheim center Ryan Kesler said.

Meanwhile, Rinne pitched consecutive shutouts to kick off a four-game sweep of Chicago and has allowed two or fewer goals in his eight starts since. This series could be a breakout party for Ducks forward Rickard Rakell, who remains vastly underrated. Anaheim had something to say about the result too.

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Dr. Silverstone said that these are not trivial things, the mood that you have can really impact your health. "We just came up short". And Connor McDavid didn't even have to register a single point for it to happen.

"It's something we haven't done before", said the 34-year-old Rinne, the team's longest-tenured player. "But it's a fact that we don't have to talk about it anymore".

The time is now for the five-time Pacific Division champion Ducks, 10 years since their 2007 championship.

"The way we've played the last half of the season where we've learned to deal with adversity, we needed that again tonight", Getzlaf said after Game 7.

"This should be a proud group in here".

What waits the Ducks is a different animal than the Oilers. It will simply be a question of how quickly Edmonton learns the lessons of this series. Both Daley and Fiddler have battled injuries, so they have been in and out of the lineup, but both could be big contributors going forward. "(McDavid) and Draisaitl are as good as you're going to get. Getzlaf did the work carrying the puck in, and Sami Vatanen hustled to get it along the boards, but Ritchie did the right thing in finding space and rifling a wrister past Cam Talbot.

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan echoed the disappointment of his team before pointing to how well they had performed against two of the most experienced and tested teams in the Western Conference.

"I feel like he got a lot of chances even in the first round", Josi said.

Wayne Gretzky had three points in the Oilers three games against Philadelphia in their best-of-five in 1980, his first kick at the playoff can. "¦ The Ducks scratched RW Patrick Eaves (foot) and D Kevin Bieksa (lower body)".

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