Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates a goal agains the Anaheim Ducks during the second period in Game six of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Draisaitl helps Oilers rout Ducks 7-1 to force Game 7

May 07, 2017 - 10:36 pm

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl had three goals and two assists, Mark Letestu added two goals and two assists, and the Edmonton Oilers cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night, forcing a decisive Game 7 in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Zach Kassian and Anton Slepychev also scored and Cam Talbot stopped 34 shots for the Oilers, who led 5-0 after the first period.

Rickard Rakell scored midway through the second period for Anaheim. John Gibson was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots less than 8 1/2 minutes into the game. Jonathan Bernier came on and finished with 25 saves.

Game 7 is Wednesday night at Anaheim, with the winner advancing to face the Nashville Predators in the conference finals.

Slepychev extended the Oilers' lead to 6-0 in the opening minute of the second period before Rakell got the Ducks on the scoreboard just shy of the 9-minute mark.

The Ducks will be head back to southern California looking to end a trend of having lost a Game 7 at home in four straight years. Anaheim was eliminated in the first round of 2013 (Detroit) and 2016 (Nashville), the second round in 2014 (Los Angeles), and the conference finals in 2015 (Chicago) in Game 7s at the Honda Center. The Ducks led each of those series 3-2 before back-to-back losses ended their seasons.

The Oilers won twice in Anaheim to open this series and narrowly lost Game 5 there in double overtime.

The Oilers were up 3-0 on Friday night and on the cusp of taking a 3-2 series lead home when the Ducks became just the second team in NHL playoff history to erase a three-goal deficit in the last four minutes of regulation. Ducks center Ryan Kesler had his glove on Talbot's pad when Rakell put a backhand between his pads to tie it with 15 seconds remaining. Corey Perry then scored the double-overtime winner.

Edmonton's last Game 7 was the 2006 Stanley Cup final, which they lost 3-1 at Carolina.

Draisaitl completed his hat trick on a give-and-go with Milan Lucic with 4 1/2 minutes left in the second period when Kesler was serving a roughing minor.

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

Kassian won a race with Ducks defensemen for a loose puck in Anaheim's zone. He shook off Josh Manson and beat Gibson with a forehand five-hole at 8:25 to make it 3-0.

Bernier left the puck unattended instead of smothering a rebound, which gave Letestu two swings at it with success on his second try at 11:39. Letestu put a one-timer over Bernier's right pad for a power-play goal with 1:15 remaining in the first.

NOTES: Draisaitl has a team-leading four goals and nine assists in the series. ... Edmonton's blue line ran with reinforcements as Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart replaced Andrej Sekura and Oscar Klefbom in the lineup. Sekura played less than two minutes in Game 5 because of an apparent leg injury. Klefbom took a shot in the chest and missed half a period, but returned to that game. Klefbom left warmup early Sunday and was replaced in the lineup by Reinhart.

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