Skip to main content

Connor McDavid's playmaking will be key in Oilers' Game 3 vs. Canucks

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid waits to take a faceoff against the Vancouver Canucks during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Vancouver, on May 8, 2024. (Darryl Dyck) Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid waits to take a faceoff against the Vancouver Canucks during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Vancouver, on May 8, 2024. (Darryl Dyck)
Share

The Edmonton Oilers come home for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks with a chance to take control of the series. That opportunity begins when the Oilers host the Canucks in Game 3 Sunday night.

Edmonton evened the series with a 4-3 overtime win at Vancouver on Friday night as the Oilers tied it early in the third period and Evan Bouchard scored 5:38 into the extra session.

"I thought there was a lot of resilience," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "I thought we were a bit unlucky to be down going into the third, but we stuck with it and hung in there all night. I thought everybody battled so hard to get this one, so this was a big one and it feels good to be tied going home."

They came home tied due in large part to McDavid. In Game 1 he was held shotless for the first time in his 56-game playoff career. In Game 2 McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and three assists, and Stuart Skinner made 16 saves for the Oilers, the No. 2 seed from the Pacific Division.

When McDavid was on the ice, the Oilers registered 37 shot attempts to just eight for the Canucks, the No. 1 seed from the Pacific.

McDavid has at least one assist in all seven playoff games, tying the Oilers record set by Mark Messier in 1989. Draisaitl's goal was his 37th in the playoffs in his 56th game.

The Canucks will have to do a better job on McDavid and Draisaitl in Game 3.

"They're good players, but we made it easy on them," Vancouver's J.T. Miller said. "We didn't win our battles and they were able to play in the (offensive) zone, and once they get in there, they're very hard to get it off of. ... We were one and done all night and started in the (defensive) zone a lot and stayed in the (defensive) zone."

Nikita Zadorov had a goal and an assist, Miller had two assists, and Arturs Silovs made 27 saves for the Canucks, who had leads of 2-1 and 3-2.

Draisaitl was questionable for the game after missing the final 7:58 of the second period in Game 1 with an undisclosed injury but showed no ill effects in Game 2 and was paired on the same line with McDavid for the first time in these playoffs, with Zach Hyman on left wing.

"We felt that if he played left wing, we could protect him," Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said of Draisaitl. "But there was no needing to protect him the way he played tonight and obviously, the way that line was playing, we weren't going to put him back to center and just continued to play him there."

Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said the Canucks need to do a better job handling the puck in Game 3.

"When they made the press in the third, I just thought we were a little hot potato with the puck," Tocchet said. "When somebody's on your back and you have the puck, your heart rate should never be 200, it should be the same because you have possession. ... We've got to make sure that going into Game 3 we are composed with the puck."

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Should you wait to buy or sell your home?

The Bank of Canada is expected to announce its key interest rate decision in less than two weeks. Last month, the bank lowered its key interest rate to 4.7 per cent, marking its first rate cut since March 2020.

Stay Connected