Edmonton Oilers eliminate Calgary Flames in dramatic OT fashion
Captain Connor McDavid secured the Edmonton Oilers' ticket into the Western Conference Final with an overtime goal.
At 5:03 into overtime, McDavid sniped the goal after a pass from Leon Draisaitl, notching his seventh goal of the playoffs, to give the Oilers their 5-4 victory in Game 5 of the second round.
Zach Hyman had a goal and two assists, while Darnell Nurse, Jesse Puljujarvi and Evan Bouchard also netted goals.
Draisaitl recorded his fifth consecutive three-point game of the 2022 playoffs. Only three players in NHL history posted a longer streak of point games than the centre player, including Jari Kurri, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky — none of whom did so during playoff play.
Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton's head coach, congratulated the Flames, saying they pushed the Oilers.
"They were just excellent in this series," he said.
In his view, the Oilers weren't able to start the first period in the way they would've liked.
"We fought our way back from 2-0 down," Woodcroft said. "The second period was a little bit of a crazy period, but there were a lot of good things in that period for us as well."
The third period represented some of the best Oilers hockey of the night, Woodcroft added.
"There was some things that we could clean up. Heading into overtime, we talked about that," he said. "But I think with our group there's a measure of calm, measure of composure, and a strong belief that we have the people in the room to get us through any type of circumstance."
McDavid said tonight's back-and-forth game was much like the whole series against the Flames.
"Tonight was a bit crazy there at the end of the second," he told reporters.
"Crazy Game 1, we got down in Game 2, and kind of just hung in there all series and found a way to get it done.
"That was really the moral of the whole series."
When asked about how it felt to score the game and series-winning goal, McDavid said it was "hard to put into words" what it meant to him.
"The guys did a great job of hanging in there all night," he said. "Definitely wasn't our best effort, but we stuck in there.
"(I'm) just happy to contribute on a night where maybe I didn't have my best," he added.
For McDavid, playing in a Battle of Alberta playoff edition was "special," especially so after a series win.
"It was real fun," he said. "The fans were amazing in both buildings, especially in Edmonton. Just the energy and the vibe around the city has been amazing."
Darryl Sutter, Calgary's head coach, said there were a lot of missed opportunities for the Flames.
"We kind of ran out of ammo in this round here," Sutter said.
When asked about his thoughts regarding the disallowed third-period goal that could have won the game for Calgary, Sutter said it depends on what one calls a "distinct kicking motion."
"If somebody's on the ground and you lift your foot up and kick him in the head, that's a distinct kicking motion," he said.
"If you slide your foot on the ground, that's not a distinct kicking motion," he added.
Woodcroft said he was "pretty confident" the referees would side with the Oilers.
"You never know," he added. "We were fortunate that it did go our way."
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