Oilers’ Mike Smith says decisive Game 7 in Edmonton is ‘what dreams are made of’ – Edmonton

Oilers’ Mike Smith says decisive Game 7 in Edmonton is ‘what goals are product of’ – Edmonton

For goalie Mike Smith, that is what the NHL playoffs are all about.

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With a victory in L.A. on Thursday, Smith and the Oilers compelled a Game 7 of their first-round collection in opposition to the Kings. The decisive matchup will go Saturday in Edmonton.

“It’s clearly what goals are product of, going to Game 7 again at dwelling in Edmonton,” the netminder mentioned. “So guys are fairly excited.”


Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith stops a shot in the course of the second interval in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff collection in opposition to the Los Angeles Kings Friday, May 6, 2022, in Los Angeles.


(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It’s been a collection filled with highs and lows for the Oilers.

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They dropped a good Game 1 at dwelling, captured blowout victories in Games 2 and three, then had been shutout in Game 4.

After a sluggish begin in Game 5, Edmonton got here again to power additional time, however finally took a 5-4 loss that put the workforce on the point of elimination.

Thursday’s Game 6 noticed the Oilers take an early lead, however the Kings equalized within the third earlier than Tyson Barrie put away the game-winning strike with simply over 5 minutes left on the clock and Evander Kane added an empty-net objective to seal the 4-2 victory.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers heading home for Game 7 after 4-2 win in Los Angeles

Each sport has represented a special set of circumstances, Edmonton’s head coach Jay Woodcroft mentioned Friday.

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“We’ve already moved previous the earlier six video games,” he mentioned. “Our focus is on being the very best we could be tomorrow.

“We know we’re going to need to be higher than we had been yesterday. And we’re enthusiastic about doing it in entrance of probably the most rabid followers within the National Hockey League.”

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Many within the Oilers’ locker room are acquainted with the strain that comes from taking part in in large moments.

Duncan Keith has suited up in 141 NHL playoff video games and gained three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. Brett Kulak was on the blue line for Montreal’s storied playoff run final season and Zach Hyman felt the glare of the highlight throughout his six seasons in Toronto.

The Kings, in the meantime, have 11 gamers who’ve made their playoff debuts this season.

Experience could be key in large moments, Smith mentioned.

“I feel in case you’ve been round and also you’ve been by means of conditions in your profession, it will probably solely pay dividends within the onerous moments,” mentioned the goalie, who’ll play his thirty sixth playoff sport on Saturday.

“So I feel it’s one sport, something can occur. You’ve simply obtained to be sure to attempt to carry your A-game and put all of it on the market.”

READ MORE: Oilers vs. Kings among 3 Game 7s set for Saturday in NHL playoff action

Some of Edmonton’s largest stars are elevating their sport within the playoffs.

Captain Connor McDavid has put up multi-point performances in 5 of six video games and leads the league in post-season factors with 12 (three targets, 9 assists). Winger Evander Kane is tied for probably the most targets (seven).

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After notching two targets and an help in Thursday’s essential win, Kane mentioned that persevering by means of a good sport would assist his workforce construct confidence.

“There’s guys which were on this state of affairs earlier than, there’s guys that haven’t,” he mentioned. “To get that have and for it to be a optimistic one, it’s a superb feeling.”

The Oilers have already bought out Rogers Place to a boisterous crowd of 18,347 for 3 playoff video games this yr. They know the environment will solely develop extra fevered for Game 7.

“It’s going to be juicy,” Kane mentioned with a smile.


Edmonton Oilers followers cheer a objective throughout third interval NHL playoff hockey motion in opposition to the Los Angeles Kings in Edmonton, Tuesday, May 10, 2022.


THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Home ice hasn’t at all times been a bonus for the Oilers within the collection, nonetheless, with the Kings taking wins in two of three video games in Edmonton.

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The group isn’t involved about being overwhelmed on Saturday, Barrie mentioned.

“I feel Game 1 perhaps was the one time we had been a bit of nervous or no matter however we’ve settled in now,” the defenceman mentioned.

“Give (L.A.) credit score — they performed a pair video games in our rink however we need to be at dwelling for this one. And we would like that rink rocking like it is going to be. And we’ll be prepared for that.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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