The Anaheim Ducks play the Edmonton Oilers in what is the second of two game sevens in the Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals. The first one, which is part of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and has the Capitals hosting the Penguins, will be played at 7:30 tonight. Whoever wins that game will play the Ottawa Senators for the conference crown. Our Ducks play Oilers 2017 NHL West Semifinals free pick is to see which team, Anaheim or Edmonton, will play the upstart Nashville Predators for the Western Conference title.
Anaheim Ducks Vs. Edmonton Oilers Series
The away team won the first four games in this series. In the initial game, the visiting Oilers beat Anaheim 5-3 and in the second, Edmonton was victorious as they took down their hosts 2-1. The teams then travelled to Edmonton and with that move the tables were turned Anaheim scored six times to beat the Oilers by three goals. The next game was tougher as the Ducks won it in OT 4-3 to tie the series.
As the series shifted back to Anaheim, the Ducks pulled ahead for the first time, beating the Oilers in double overtime 4-3. That was also the first time a home team notched a win in this series. Back in Edmonton, it was the Oilers’ turn to take a home games as they annihilated Anaheim 7-1. With the series tied at three games apiece, the two teams prepare to meet in Anaheim one more time.
Oilers at Ducks Game Seven
The Oilers’ weakness in the regular season was their PK, which was ranked 17th. They were eighth in average goals scored and average goals against and fifth on the power play. Center Leon Draisaitl leads the team in points with 16, five of which he accumulated in the 7-1 blowout. Center Mark Letestu has been especially dangerous on the power play as eight of his 11 points have come when the Oilers have a man advantage. Connor McDavid, also a center, has nine points, including four on the power play. He also has a short-handed goal. This team can definitely score in bunches. Overall goalie Cam Talbot (7-5, 2.51 GAA, .924 SV%) has done a good job.
In the regular season, Anaheim had a tough time scoring goals. They were ranked 18th in average goals per game. It was their defense that often kept them in games as they allowed the third fewest goals per game in the NHL, 2.4. They’re also fourth on the PK while coming in 17th on power play percentage. Center Ryan Getzlaf is a dangerous player. He leads the Ducks in goals (8), assists (7), points (15), and power play goals (3). LW Jakob Silfverberg and center Rickard Rakell are also opportunists on offense. Silfverberg has seven goals, two of which are on the power play, and four assists, while Rakell has garnered six goals and four assists. Goalie John Gibson (6-3, 3.00 GAA, .903 SV%) has played well bit in the last game he had to be pulled after allow three goals on six shots. That was an uncharacteristic performance, as he his GAA is usually around 2.22 and save percentage lifetime stands at .922.
Ducks Play Oilers 2017 NHL West Semifinals Free Pick
I expect Gibson to play fine in goal tonight and also that the Anaheim defense will be ready for the Oilers. However, Edmonton will be fired up and ready to battle. I’m going with the home team in this one. Our Ducks play Oilers 2017 NHL West Semifinals free pick is Anaheim at -115.