The San Jose Sharks are now behind them, and the Edmonton Oilers are looking ahead to the second round of the playoffs.
Leon Draisaitl, Anton Slepyshev and Connon McDavid scored in a 3-1 victory to end the first round 4-games-to-2, Saturday night.
Forward Zack Kassian told reporters it felt good to beat the Sharks, but they can’t spend too long celebrating their victory.
“Last night we enjoyed it, we deserved it, we beat a good San Jose team, but it doesn’t get any easier with the Anaheim Ducks,” said Kassian “We’re looking forward to the challenge and I know everyone’s excited.”
Next up, a red-hot Anaheim Ducks team that just swept the Calgary Flames, and, as head coach Todd McLellan said, they’re a very different team than the Sharks.
“Well, one, they’re rested, so that certainly works in their favour… they’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence right now, whereas San Jose, I don’t want to say they weren’t confident, but they had a tougher finish than Anaheim did,” said McLellan.
However, McLellan said the Oilers team heading to Anaheim is different from the one which began the playoffs.
“There’s a lot of things that happen over the two-week period that you don’t get during the regular season, and we now have experienced it.” He said in areas like preparation, dealing with the emotional highs and lows, the rhythm of a series, even the differences in officiating, the Oilers now know what to expect. “I think we’ve grown in those areas, or at least gained some experience in those areas, and we’ll have to put that to good use in round two.”
Defenceman Darnell Nurse said the Sharks were a tough test for the team, but it will only get harder from here.
“We’ve just got to take our game to a new level, I think that’s definitely going to be the main focus,” said Nurse.
The first two games of the second round will go in Anaheim. Those games have not yet been scheduled. Tickets for all three possible Oilers home games in Round 2 go on sale Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM (MT) at EdmontonOilers.com.