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Oilers defeat Canucks 4-3 in OT to even series

Edmonton Oilers players celebrate Evan Bouchard's winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 on Friday, May 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Edmonton Oilers players celebrate Evan Bouchard's winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 on Friday, May 10, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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The Edmonton Oilers kept fighting in Game 2 and capped off a comeback in overtime to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Friday night.

The Canucks led three times before goals by captain Connor McDavid in the third period and defenceman Evan Bouchard in overtime tied the series 1-1.

"That was huge," Bouchard said moments after the game finished in Vancouver. "We played hard all game long."

The Canucks grabbed the lead five minutes into the game during a power play when J.T. Miller found Elias Pettersson, who one-timed it past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner for the 1-0 lead.

The Oilers scored a power-play goal of their own minutes later when superstars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid combined in a give-and-go before the German forward put Edmonton on the board.

Much like the first period, the Canucks grabbed the lead early in the second thanks to a redirect from Brock Boeser, but Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm evened things up moments later with his second goal of the series.

Canucks defenceman Nikita Zadorov gave Vancouver the lead late in the second period thanks to a shot from a tight angle that snuck behind Skinner.

The Oilers dominated in the third period with 16 shots to the Canucks' three.

After zero shots in Game 1, McDavid hit the post in the third period before scoring a breakaway goal and tying the game at 3-3.

The Oilers swarmed the Canucks toward the end of the third period but couldn't take the lead for the first time in Game 2 and the game went into overtime.

After an intense start to overtime, it was Bouchard who gave Edmonton the lead, and the win, in Game 2.

"I thought this game was a game where we took over the game halfway through it. We just kept coming, kept pushing," Ekholm told reporters in the locker room.

"They had a hell of a comeback in the first game. I thought tonight we had that comeback mindset. They were up three times in this game; we just kept coming back."

Draisaitl

A question mark loomed over forward Leon Draisaitl's health after he appeared to be in pain late in Edmonton's 5-4 loss Wednesday. 

The 28-year-old German forward missed practice Thursday and didn't participate in Friday's optional morning skate. 

"Obviously, be smart about it but for the most part I felt good," Draisaitl said after the game, where he contributed a goal and three assists.

His performance was no surprise to Oilers captain Connor McDavid. 

“He's a great player," McDavid said. "He's an amazing player, one of the best players in the world, the best player in the world on a lot of nights. And tonight was one of those nights.”

Game 3

The Canucks know what they need to do make adjustments ahead of Game 3 on Sunday, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said. 

“Some guys here, they got to pick it up, too," the coach said. "They want to play but you got to dig in. You can't be a liability. If you're not getting much ice time, there's a reason why and we need some guys to pick it up a little bit.”

Still streaking

McDavid and Draisaitl extended their playoff scoring streaks to seven games. McDavid leads the league in post-season scoring with 17 points (two goals, 15 assists), while Draisaitl has 16 (six goals, 10 assists). 

Bouchard has points in five straight, with two goals and five assists across the stretch.

"It's 1-1, they have a really good team," Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes said.

"Now we look forward to Edmonton."

Game 3 is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rogers Place.

With files from The Canadian Press

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