NHL: Oilers roll past Canucks 5-1, send series to Game 7

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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evan Bouchard both scored once in three-point performances to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, sending their Western Conference semifinal series to a winner-take-all Game 7.

Dylan Holloway, Zach Hyman and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers, while Connor McDavid collected three assists. Goaltender Stuart Skinner, handed back the net after watching the past two games, needed to make only 14 saves to record the win.

“We played well,” McDavid told Sportsnet. “We were solid in front of Stu (Skinner). Not many shots, but the ones they did get were dangerous and he stepped up.”

Leon Draisaitl posted two assists to run his point-scoring streak to 11 games, all of his team’s games during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He became only the third player in history to record 100 career playoff points in 60 or fewer games, a list that includes Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

Game 7 will be Monday in Vancouver, with the winner advancing to the conference final to face the Dallas Stars.

“We’re looking forward to it,” McDavid said. “It’s a great challenge. Two good teams going at it that are both playing really good hockey. In enemy territory. It’s fun. It’s a great chance for our group to come together, get a win there and get it done.”

Canucks star defenseman Quinn Hughes echoed McDavid’s statement ahead of Game 7.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Hughes said. “If you told us we’d have this opportunity in September, we would have taken it. We probably would have taken it three weeks ago as well. It’ll be exciting.”

Nils Hoglander scored and goalie Arturs Silovs stopped 22 shots for the Canucks.

Neither team has won consecutive games in the series, with the Oilers winning the even-numbered clashes.

With the score tied 1-1, Hyman’s 10th goal of the playoffs at 7:14 of the middle frame sent the Oilers off and running. Hyman’s shot from the slot bounded off a defender and went over Silovs.

Bouchard made it a 3-1 game at the 11:20 mark of the second when he unloaded a point shot that found the mark for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

“We got to our game early and just stuck with it,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. ‘Coming out of the first (period), we wanted to get back to playing fast and get some (offensive) zone time. It was a good game from that perspective; we applied a lot of pressure.”

Nugent-Hopkins extended the edge with his third of the playoffs at 3:25 of the third. McDavid raced around a defender before sliding a pass to the front of the net for Nugent-Hopkins to convert for his third goal of the playoffs.

Kane rounded out the scoring with a screened-shot goal, his fourth of the playoffs, after a Draisaitl faceoff win with 6:56 remaining.

The clubs traded first-period goals, with Holloway opening the scoring at 8:18. He split the defensemen before tucking home his third goal of the playoffs.

Hoglander tied the clash just past the midway point of the frame when he cashed in his own rebound for his first of the playoffs.

“I don’t think we shot enough pucks and got enough bodies (to the net),” Vancouver forward Brock Boeser said. “That will be something we talk about and something we need to do better next game.”

Hughes lamented the Canucks’ power-play struggles after they went 0-for-4 in Game 6. Vancouver is just 3-for-24 on the power play in its last nine games.

“Not good enough and we’re gonna have to be ready to go,” he said. “We want to be at our best when it really matters and need to do that.”

–Field Level Media

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