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Canucks fall 4-3 in overtime to Oilers in Game 2
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Canucks fall 4-3 in overtime to Oilers in Game 2

The Canucks grabbed three leads but couldn’t hold any as the Oilers took Game 2 in overtime.

The Edmonton Oilers filled their top spot for Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks, bringing together Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in hopes of tying the series 1-1.

It worked, but only barely.

The game started with the Canucks’ best players combining for the opening goal.

Between the regular season and the play-offs there had been ten games without a goal for Elias Pettersson and he scored only one goal in his last twenty games. So Pettersson’s sigh of relief may have been the only sound louder than the roar of the Rogers Arena crowd when he opened the scoring.

The goal came on an early Vancouver Canucks power play, when JT Miller stared at Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner and froze him in place before sending a no-look, cross-seam pass to Pettersson for a one-timer into the open net .

It was the first power play goal given up by the Oilers penalty, killing all playoffs.

The other side of the Oilers special teams responded, however, as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl teamed up for a power-play give-and-go that Draisaitl snapped past Arturs Silovs to tie the game.

A four-on-four in the second period led to the two teams trading goals again. The Canucks struck first, with Brock Boeser neatly netting a point shot from Carson Soucy for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

The one-goal lead didn’t last long. A pass from Soucy to Nikita Zadorov’s skates led to a turnover in the Canucks zone. Draisaitl grabbed the puck and tried to center on McDavid, but the puck bounced off his skate to Mattias Ekholm, who fired it past Silovs.

Then the referee came into the spotlight, as the referees didn’t see a blatant high stick from McDavid on Quinn Hughes that drew blood. What should have been a four-minute double minor on the Oilers captain was completely missed. When Pius Suter was called for a soft interference penalty on McDavid at the end of the second period, the focus on the officials only increased.

However, the Canucks still took the lead coming out of the second period, thanks to yet another goal from Vancouver’s new folk hero, Nikita Zadorov. Similar to a goal he scored against the Predators, Zadorov charged up the left wing and then caught Skinner off guard with a poor-angle shot that went just under the short-side crossbar.

While the Canucks were excellent at holding onto the lead in the third period this season, they failed to do so in Game 2. Soucy and Tyler Myers both made ill-advised gambles on the Oilers’ blue line: Soucy stepped up for an open-ice hit on Zach Hyman and Myers lunged for the loose puck, but McDavid pulled it past Myers and charged past him for a breakaway.

McDavid made no mistake and tied the game at 3-3.

The Oilers took over the third period from then on, outscoring the Canucks 15-to-2 in the third. The Canucks were bending but not breaking, with Silovs coming up with some big saves and the skaters in front of him making key blocks to keep the score at three until the end of regulation, sending the game to overtime.

However, the dangers of sudden death overtime are that one bad bounce can cost you a game. That’s how it turned out for the Canucks, as a backdoor pass from Evan Bouchard was tipped into the net by Canucks defenseman Ian Cole as he tried to intercept the puck.

Just like that, all the heroics in the third period to keep the game tied meant nothing.

Draisaitl finished the game with two goals and two assists, while McDavid had a goal and two assists as the Canucks had no answer to the Oilers’ big duo when they were on the ice together. They’ll have to figure one out as the series returns to Edmonton, tied at one game apiece.

BOX SCORE

Need a more detailed summary of the game? Read the I Watched This Game feature later tonight or tomorrow morning. Do not forget that follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay up to date on the Canucks during the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.