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Canucks post 5-4 comeback win over Oilers in Game 1 – Hockey
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Canucks post 5-4 comeback win over Oilers in Game 1 – Hockey

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press – | Story: 486498

VANCOUVER – Dakota Joshua had a goal and two assists and the Vancouver Canucks scored three goals in the third period to earn a 5-4 comeback victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm each scored and contributed a helper for Vancouver, while JT Miller and Conor Garland also found the back of the net. Carson Soucy registered a pair of assists

The Oilers took a 4-2 lead in the final frame, thanks to two goals from Zach Hyman, and one each from Mattias Ekholm and Cody Ceci. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl each had two assists.

After registering just five shots in the first period, Vancouver outscored the visiting team 19-7 in the second and third.

The Canucks got 13 saves from rookie goalie Arturs Silovs and Stuart Skinner stopped 19 of 24 shots for the Oilers.

Edmonton was coming off a six-day rest after ousting the LA Kings in a five-game first-round series. Vancouver eliminated the Nashville Predators in Game 6 on Friday.

An early penalty proved costly for the Canucks. Vancouver was called for too many men just 40 seconds into the game and Edmonton’s powerful power play started to work.

Nugent-Hopkins sent Hyman a pass over the top of the crease and the winger unleashed a one-timer from an acute angle, tucking the puck under the crossbar for his eighth goal of the postseason at 2:11.

Edmonton was 1-on-1 on the power play and Vancouver 0-on-3.

The Canucks had a prime opportunity a few minutes later when Garland sprinted across the ice on a breakaway and attempted to backhand a shot over Skinner’s path. The goalie read the play and put the puck out of the way.

Edmonton led 2-0 midway through the opening frame after Vancouver’s Ian Cole tried to clear a pass off the end boards, only to see Draisaitl pick up the puck instead.

Draisaitl made a pass to Ekholm and the veteran defenseman launched a shot from above the faceoff circle, sending the puck flying over Silovs’ shoulder.

The assist was Draisaitl’s second of the game. He has points in all six of Edmonton’s playoff games this season, totaling five goals and seven assists.

Vancouver cut the deficit to one goal 53 seconds into the second period.

Cole fired a shot over the Edmonton net and the puck ricocheted off the end boards to Joshua. The big winger cleared the ball off the goal line and sent a wrist shot behind Skinner to make it 2-1 with his third goal of the play-offs.

The Canucks continued to apply pressure and had a slew of chances midway through the period, but the Oilers increased their lead to 3-1 at the 12:26 mark.

A long shot from Ceci hit Cole’s arm in front of the net and sailed past Silovs for the defenseman’s first goal of the postseason.

Just 45 seconds later, Hyman put Edmonton ahead 4-1 with a shot that hit Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers’ stick and went under Silovs’ pad.

The goal provoked a rare display of emotion from the 23-year-old Latvian netminder, who apparently banged his stick on the ice in frustration.

Hyman has a league-leading nine goals this postseason.

Connor McDavid recorded an assist during the game and extended his point streak to six consecutive playoff games (one goal, 12 assists).

Lindholm closed the period with Vancouver’s second goal of the game, pretending to pass from behind the net before tapping a backhanded shot into the side of the Edmonton net at 17:01. The goal was Lindholm’s third of the postseason.

The Canucks cut the Oilers’ lead to 4-3 during a stretch of 4-on-4 hockey midway through the third after Zadorov was called for cross-checking and Draisaitl was sent to the penalty box for cutting.

Brock Boeser sent a pass to Miller at the goal line and the puck bounced off Miller’s stick and then over Skinner’s glove at 8:38.

The goal — Miller’s second of the playoffs — prompted enthusiastic chants of “JT Mill-er!” Rogers Arena everywhere.

Zadorov buried his third of the postseason (13:47) in the third with a long shot into the top corner, making it 4-4.

The crowd erupted 39 seconds later when Garland picked off a pass at center ice and went one-on-one with Darnell Nurse. The winger fired a shot past Skinner from the bottom of the faceoff circle to put Vancouver up 5-4.

Edmonton pulled Skinner in favor of an extra attacker with just over two minutes left on the game clock, but could not score the tying goal.

IN AND OUTS

Edmonton forward Adam Henrique missed Game 1 with an ankle injury. Connor Brown took his spot in the lineup and made his first postseason appearance.

YOUNG GUNS

This is the first time the Canucks and Oilers have met in the playoffs since 1992. Defenseman Tyler Myers and goaltender Casey DeSmith are the only players on Vancouver’s current roster who were born before that series.

Edmonton has eight players (Henrique, Derek Ryan, Mattias Ekholm, Calvin Pickard, Sam Gagner, Corey Perry and Evander Kane) who were still alive at the time.

NEXT ONE

Game 2 is scheduled for Friday in Vancouver. The series moves to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024.