Anaheim Ducks Five Great Playoff Moments: The Heroes of Playoffs Past

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 06: The Anaheim Ducks celebrates winning the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 1 over the Ottawa Senators during Game Five on June 6, 2007 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 06: The Anaheim Ducks celebrates winning the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals 4 games to 1 over the Ottawa Senators during Game Five on June 6, 2007 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 10: The Ducks celebrate the victory with Anaheim Ducks Goalie John Gibson (36) during game 7 of the second round of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks on May 10, 2017, at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The Ducks defeated the Oilers 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Ducks Drain the Oil

Heading into the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Ducks played the Edmonton Oilers, the second-place team in the Pacific in the regular season. The Oilers boasted one of the best stars in the NHL in Connor McDavid and right away, the Oilers ran out to a two-nothing series lead, stealing the home-ice advantage. Heading into Edmonton, a lot of people thought the Ducks were done, but the Ducks jumped on Edmonton early and often in the first period, and despite giving up the lead heading into the third period, the Ducks rebounded by scoring three more goals to win six-three to cut the Oilers’ lead in half.

Then in game 4, the Ducks came from behind, overcoming another two-goal deficit, scoring three goals in the second period, two from the Captain and the other by Rickard Rakell. The Oilers tied the game late, but a goal from Jakob Silfverberg in overtime tied the series at two, setting the stage for what would be one of the most legendary games in Anaheim Ducks history.

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Game 5 started out wrong for the Ducks when Captain Ryan Getzlaf missed a penalty shot that could’ve given the Ducks an early one-nothing lead. Then in the second period, the Oilers struck three times, and it looked like the theme of the road team winning the series would continue. Heading into the third period, nothing was looking good, and the naysayers were loving every minute of it.

Then, one of the most movie-style, unbelievable, magical, memorable moments of all time happened in record time. The Ducks finally got on the board with three minutes remaining in regulation when Ryan Getzlaf scored via a slap shot to break the shutout. With limited time remaining, a comeback didn’t look possible, but Cam Fowler gave the fans real hope with a shot from inside the Oilers’ blue line and suddenly, the Ducks trailed three to two.

Then the drama went to new heights when Rickard Rakell scored the game-tying goal with thirteen seconds left. The refs then reviewed for goaltender interference and while Kesler was on top of the goaltender, Darnell Nurse was seen on top of Kesler, therefore waving off the goaltender interference call, sending the game to overtime. The fans were ecstatic and the naysayers were left stunned.

The first overtime came and went without a goal, but in double overtime, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry combined for a dramatic game-winner to complete the biggest, miraculous comeback in franchise history. The best part was when Jeremy Roenick, NHL on NBC analyst had to admit he was wrong about the Ducks after that game.

Though Edmonton lost that game, they came back in Edmonton and demolished the Ducks, sending them back to the “OC” having to face their biggest fear: game 7. The Ducks hadn’t won a game 7, losing several of them to Detroit in ’13, LA in ’14, Chicago in ’15 and Nashville in ’16, so heading back into Anaheim, the Ducks and their fans hoped that someone would rise to the occasion to break the game 7 curse that was upon them.

Right away, Drake Caggiula scored to put the Ducks in an early hole. Unfortunately for Edmonton, John Gibson didn’t allow another goal after that to keep the Ducks in the game. Heading into the second period, former Oiler and Duck Andrew Cogliano, tied the game on a mad scramble which gave life for the home faithful life and set up a crazy ending to decide who would go to the conference finals.

Early in the third period, Nick Ritchie, the much-maligned Ducks’ power forward, broke the tie and gave the Ducks a two-one lead that Gibson was able to hold on for the remainder of the game. When the final horn sounded, the home crowd erupted in cheers, knowing that the game 7 curse was finally broken by an unlikely hero. With the win, the Ducks would play Nashville, where they would eventually fall in six games.

To The Future

Though the Ducks won’t be going to the playoffs this year, the fact that the Ducks have had several memorable moments in the playoffs and were the first team in California to win the Stanley Cup is something that Ducks fans should be grateful for.

Though the present doesn’t look bright, the future looks amazing and that is something to look forward too. So, as the months go by and the playoffs look to get underway, cherish the past, embrace the present, but look to the future because when we do win the Stanley Cup again, that will be a moment that no one can ever take away.

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