‘It means game seven baby,’ as Edmonton Oilers beat LA Kings 4-2


“It means game seven baby.”

That’s the quote of the night courtesty of Evander Kane, who threw up the number seven at the LA Kings crowd after scoring an empty-net goal to force game seven.

Buckle up, Edmonton. It’s about to get fun.

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Evander Kane

On the game, forcing game seven: “We got off to a good start finally in this series. I thought that was big for us. We knew they were going to push. Didn’t draw the start in the third period we wanted to, but I think this group has shown it all year sticking with it and not getting discouraged. We knew we could get one, we just had to make sure it was the next one. We did a great job of that. Bring it back home for seven.”

On Connor McDavid’s performance: “Everybody I thought did a great job of getting their legs going. Obviously, when he’s skating like that, he’s really tough to handle. I think you saw it in the opening couple of minutes there and a nice burst of speed up the ice and able to tuck it home on the wraparound. He’s been great for us all series, and we’re going to need him in game seven.”

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On the Oilers’ mood on the bench when the kings tied the game: “I think we were saying all the right things. We were talking we were in good shape. It’s a 2-2 hockey game in the third period in game six. I like our chances to score quite a bit. I think we did a great job. We got some calls that didn’t go our way and had to make some big penalty kills late in the game and our killers did a great job. Schmiddy was really big for us on our kill late there, and we were able to put it home there.”

On his goal that got called back: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’d have to look at it. I don’t have an answer for you.”

On throwing up seven fingers to the crowd on his empty-net tally: “It means game seven baby.”

On how winning this game six brings the team together, what it does mentally: “I think it builds confidence. There’s guys who have been in this situation before, there’s guys that haven’t. To get that experience and have it be a positive one, it was a good feeling. We had a tough break the other night and we just narrowed the focus focusing on one game and not worrying about the outside noise. Just everybody putting their best foot forward and having a solid team effort.”

On looking ahead to game seven: “It’s going to be juicy, it’s going to be juicy.”

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On his seven goals through six games against the kings: “That’s part of my job. I’ve always been counted on to produce. I’ve done it my whole career. In the playoffs, everyone wants to raise their level and raise their game. That’s what guys are doing and I’m no different.”

On the Oilers’ play without Darnell Nurse in the lineup: “I thought guys did a great job. Nursey’s a huge staple back there for us and having him out was definitely tough. We’ve played some good games back there as a group of seven d, and the guys did a great job. Tys jumping up in the rush there and scoring a huge goal for our group was a cherry on top.”

On the season being in the balance, sense of jubilation after barrie’s goal: “The mentality isn’t kind of thinking about what the worst-case scenario is. You’re trying to push and get the next goal. It was a big play, it was a great goal. We’re excited about going back to our building and having a game seven.”

Tyson Barrie

On his game-winning goal: “I kind of saw the puck turnover I think and we were heading the other way. For whatever reason, there was a big gap between me and leon and I just thought I could jump in and make it an odd man. He made a nice little sauce over to me.. Kind of got lucky to beat quick. He’s been playing great so far out. Just kind of nice to see that one go forward.”

On the feeling after his goal: “It was nice. There was five minutes left though. We obviously took a penalty and were pouring it on pretty good. I think you watch all the games around the playoffs, you can’t take your foot off the gas at all. It can change quickly. It was a great job by us. Big game, and we’re sending it back to edmonton. We’re excited.”

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On the feeling on the bench after the kings tied it: “We give one up early, then it’s back to 0-0. I think we did a good job at not turning it into a track meet. We stayed patient and tried to wear them down. They had some looks, we had some looks. It came down to the last five. I thought we did a good job of not getting down on ourselves.”

On Connor McDavid, his leadership: “It’s amazing. You guys all get to see what he does every night as far as the skill and the goals and everything. He sets the tone for us again early. You can see the battle level. He’s in every battle, up on every check. He’s doing everything right and you can tell how bad he wants this. We’re lucky to have him on our side. We got to get one more for him here.”

On if the Oilers showed themselves a couple of things to build on: “Totally. We’ve been doing it all year. Adversity and this is no different. We knew we had to have a game tonight and we did a lot of good things. We gave it back to them a little bit, but we didn’t break. We found a way to get one, and I think it shows a lot of character in that group and now we’ve got home ice, we’re heading back for game seven. I think the boys are pretty pumped.”

On Draisaitl: “That’s what he does, he makes those plays in his sleep. He’s a talented guy and one of the best passers you’ll ever see. We’re not disclosing if it’s lower, or upper-body injury, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. I thought he battled. It was nice to see him involved in the battle.”

On setting up game seven in Edmonton with the fans: “I can’t wait. They’ve been amazing all year. I think you guys have seen the crowds and what they’re getting up to. It’s going to be bonkers in there. We can’t wait to get on the ice for game seven.”

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On not letting the emotion get to them in game seven: “I think game one was maybe the only time we were a little nervous or whatever. We’ve settled in now, give them credit, they’ve played a couple good games in our rink. We want to be at home for this one and we want that rink rocking and we’ll be ready for it.”

On the defence without Nurse: “You can’t replace nursey. We were just keeping it simple. Everybody is not taking unnecessary risks, we’re staying above our checks and you’re competing, everyone is competing. There’s no secret. Every shift counts, every little play. I think that was the mindset.”
Woodcroft on the game: “It was an exciting game. I thought our players really dug in and found a way to win the game. That’s the most important thing.”

Jay Woodcroft

On the officiating, faring through it: “Well, you guys watch the game. (pause) I would say a really good coaching mentor of mine once told me there’s only a few jobs in hockey: one’s a player, one’s a manager, one’s a coach and one’s a ref. I coach. That’s my job.”

On not challenging the Kane goal: “Just experience and listening to what our video coach had to say. He’s been unbelievable throughout his tenure in the national hockey league. We trust it, and we knew we were going to find a way to win without that call going our way.”

On Connor McDavid’s game: “I can’t say enough about Connor McDavid. His play speaks for itself, it’s otherworldly. In terms of the start to the game, we did some things. The shifts weren’t long. We did some things to help us. He was a leader in us doing what we needed to do in that little bit of the first period.”

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On Draisaitl: “He’s a warrior, he’s a warrior. I don’t worry about him. He ended up making the play on the winning goal. It was a big win for us.”

On the Mikey Anderson takedown of Draisaitl: “You want me to refer you back to that other answer? (shrug) you guys saw. I know what I saw. You guys saw that and you know, we’re moving on. We got the win.”

On the feeling around the team after the kings’ tying goal: “Calm. Composed. We knew that we have the horses on the bench to get the job done. For me, I thought there was a really good tempo and rhythm with how we wanted to play. I thought we had the bulk of the chances. We ended up on the kill four times I think tonight. The bulk of their chances occurred there. For us, we felt we did a lot of really good stuff and just stuck with it. We were persistent, kept hammering away at the rock and eventually, it split.”

On Kane flashing the seven to the crowd: “He must not have liked the celebration in our building after they had scored. I think evander plays with emotion and he’s looking forward to the next game.”

On preparing for game seven: “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to enjoy this with my coaching staff and our players for about the next 10 minutes.And then, we’re parking it. We’re parking it and we’re going to try and travel the best we can, recover the best we can and prepare the best we can for a big game.”

On the emotions of a game seven at home: “I think our players have played three games in that building here this playoff run. We know what to expect. We’ve been a good home team all year and we’re looking forward to bringing that game in game number seven.”

On the Oilers defence without Nurse: “We saw a group of seven players willing to sacrifice for each other. People step up when called upon. I saw a young man get his footing in a game six of the national hockey league playoffs. I saw Kris Russell sacrificing his body at every turn and I was proud of that group of seven tonight.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]

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