Oilers 4, Canucks 3 (OT) Edmonton dominates to level series

The Oilers outshot the Canucks through two periods, which you’d expect given they were chasing the game.

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The Stanley Cup playoffs are as intense as sports can get and if you are looking for an example to put in your digital dictionary, let it be Friday night’s thrilling Vancouver Canucks versus Edmonton Oilers second-round encounter at Rogers Arena.

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In a game that had everything, the Oilers found an overtime winner to prevail 4-3.

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Evan Bouchard fired in a shot off the wing that bounced off Ian Cole right in front, taking a win for Edmonton that levelled the series 1-1.

The game’s stars were the stars, there was more goaltending drama and, because it’s the NHL, plenty of questions about the officiating.

Last game, Connor McDavid, the sports’ biggest star, was held shot-less for the first time in his playoff career.

You knew he was going to bring it in Game 2. He did.

But the game proved to be so much more about McDavid creating chances all over the ice.

There was a bounceback performance by Canucks goalie Arturs Silovs. There was Elias Pettersson finally scoring his first of the playoffs.

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There was a late-game, five-minute stretch where the Oilers did anything but score and Silovs was a huge factor pushing the game to overtime.

So was the Canucks’ defensive structure, which blocked 20 Oilers shots on the night. They were especially massive in the third, when Edmonton out-shot Vancouver 15-2, a perfect reflection of the balance of play.

The Canucks got goals from Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Nikita Zadorov.

Edmonton’s goals had similar star-power, scored by Leon Draisaitl, Mattias Ekholm and Connor McDavid.

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Arturs Silovs of the Vancouver Canucks dives after the puck during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 10. Photo by Derek Cain /Getty Images

Silovs saves

The Canucks rookie made a pair of back-to-back saves on a power play scramble in the first period, with the jitters he’d showed in the first game gone.

There were some key stops in a busy shift with about four minutes to go as the Oilers swarmed and swarmed and swarmed the Canucks’ zone.

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There was no shame in any of the first three goals he conceded either: a quick fire shot from Leon Draisaitl on the power play that was classic Oilers, a Mattias Ekholm snipe off a terrible turnover in front of the net and McDavid on the breakaway.

The Oilers outshot the Canucks through two periods, which you’d expect given they were chasing the game. Trailing teams as a rule out-shoot the leading team.

The Oilers pressed and Silovs stood tall on the shots he had an actual chance on.

Rough night for Miller

The J.T. Miller was massive in Game 1, giving McDavid nothing to work with.

But in the McDavid matchup in Game 2, the Miller line struggled.

Through regulation, the Oilers outshot the Canucks 26-4 when McDavid and Miller went head to head.

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Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers skates with the puck behind the net of Arturs Silovs of the Vancouver Canucks as Nikita Zadorov defends during the first period in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 10. Photo by Derek Cain /Getty Images

Petey’s relief

Has he ever celebrated more emphatically than he did on his first-period power play tally, his first of the playoffs? His first in exactly a month.

It was an impressive finish on a perfect cross-ice pass from Miller.

Pettersson was left totally uncovered and nailed the shot he’d missed in Game 2.

Dumb whack

If Derek Ryan catches Nils Hoglander anywhere but the groin, he probably doesn’t get whistled for slashing early in the second, creating the four on four that led to Boeser’s lovely tip goal.

Boeser, by the way, had the fifth-most tip goals in the NHL in the regular season.

He’s a fabulous net front player. Just a reminder.

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The system doesn’t work

How referees miss a clear high stick on Hughes by McDavid late in the second period is hard to fathom.

But it also wasn’t the only high stick they missed.

The NHL has been using a two-referee system for 24 years. The frustrations with officiating are roared by everyone on a nightly basis, no matter who is playing.

Canucks fans have a long-standing beef with Kelly Sutherland. Oilers fans have a long-standing beef with Steve Kozari.

Tells you something.

Other sports have looked at how technology can be useful in incidences of foul play. Why doesn’t the NHL? You can make reviews quickly for serious moments like this.

And why persist with two referees on the ice? What does that actually gain? Why have them stand where they do? Might there be a better way to have them positioned?

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Other sports have fiddled with how and where they deploy the people with the whistles, why doesn’t hockey?

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Dakota Joshua of the Vancouver Canucks is hit in the face by the stick of Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers during the second period in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 10. Photo by Derek Cain /Getty Images

Suter saviour

After Hughes lost his helmet in a board battle in the first period and had to skate to the bench, the Canucks were in full scramble mode.

But who was calm in the middle in that moment? Pius Suter.

The wisest man going.

Draisaitl’s health

You could see how uncomfortable Draisaitl was during Game 1. He admitted ahead of Game 2 that there was a small play that led to the problem, though didn’t get specific.

“If it had been a big play you’d all have noticed,” he joked.

If you think he’s dealing with a back issue, a source says you’d be right.

It’s uncomfortable enough that Draisaitl is having difficultly putting his equipment on, the source said.

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It was impressive to see him not just take a regular shift in Game 2 but to fire on a quick-release one-two in the first period.

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It’s game day! Read more of our Canucks vs. Oilers Round 2 playoff coverage:

• Vancouver vs. Edmonton: Here are 8 things each city is ‘winning’
• Canucks vs. Oilers: Arturs Silovs or Casey DeSmith, who’s your goalie for Game 2?
• Canucks vs. Oilers: Kindergarten class in Carson Soucy’s Alberta hometown is divided on series
Canucks viewing parties: Here’s where to watch the Canucks vs. Oilers Round 2 playoffs
5 crucial questions facing the Canucks in Round 2
Could Thatcher Demko really play vs. the Oilers?
Canucks vs. Oilers: All a bloodless rivalry needs is a playoff series
ESPN seems to hate Vancouver
Canucks this week, playoff edition: Underdogs against the Oilers — just the way we like it
Pearl Jam leaves Vancouver with special Canucks message
Like Rocky Balboa, Arturs Silovs wants to go distance against Stuart Skinner
After half a century on the back burner, might Oilers-Canucks rivalry finally be heating up?
How Pius Suter makes the Miller line go from good to dominant
‘I can’t stand’ it: Canucks coach Rick Tocchet tired of embellishment in playoffs
Underdogs? Quinn Hughes ‘prepared to play my best hockey’
J.T. Miller on matching up against Connor McDavid: ‘He’s different than anybody’
Unplugging Edmonton’s potent playoff power play is top priority

ROUND 2! SIGN UP TO GET YOUR FREE CANUCKS PLAYOFF POSTERS: We are proud to partner with the Vancouver Canucks to bring you this year’s edition of the longtime Province tradition, the Canucks Playoff Poster series. CLICK HERE to get a new player poster emailed to you every game day, plus all the posters from Round 1!

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reference: theprovince.com

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