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Oilers dominate Canucks, win to force deciding Game 7

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, left, and Edmonton Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard battle for the puck during NHL playoff action on May 18, 2024, in Edmonton. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press) Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser, left, and Edmonton Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard battle for the puck during NHL playoff action on May 18, 2024, in Edmonton. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)
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They'll need one more game.

The Edmonton Oilers — paced by Ryan Nugent Hopkins, with a goal and two assists, and Connor McDavid, with three helpers — avoided elimination from the National Hockey League playoffs Saturday night, beating the visiting Vancouver Canucks 5-1 in Game 6 of their second-round series.

The decisive Game 7 is scheduled for Monday in Vancouver.

Goalie Stuart Skinner, who had sat out the previous two games in favour of backup Calvin Pickard, stopped 14 Canucks shot in the victory, while counterpart Arturs Silovs made 22 saves for the Canucks.

Dylan Holloway opened the soring 8:16 into the game, carrying the puck into the Canucks zone and fooling defenceman Phillip Hronek on a deft deke to skate in alone on Silovs, beating him five-hole to put the Oilers up 1-0.

The lead lasted less than a minute and a half, however, with the Canucks tying it 1-1 on a goal by Nils Hoglander, who managed two cracks at the puck in the crease on a feed from behind the net from fellow forward Elias Pettersson, the second attempt getting by Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner at 10:03.

The teams traded chances late in the opening frame, with Leon Draisaitl taking a feed from the corner for an open chance on Silovs at 16:30, the shot sailing wide. Less than a minute and a half later, Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm caught up to a streaking Elias Lindholm, who was heading up ice on a partial breakaway, forcing a bad angle shot that Skinner stopped.

With half a second left in the period, Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard's point shot got past Silovs through heavy traffic in front of the net, but it was waived off by the officials, who determined McDavid interfered with the Canucks goalie on the play.

The Canucks controlled the play for the first two minutes of the second period, holding the puck in the Oilers' end, but failed to get a shot on Skinner.

The Oilers then grabbed momentum for most of the middle frame — and for much of the rest of the game — taking 14 shots to the Canucks' five during it and scoring twice to take a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.

Zach Hyman's shot from the slot got past Silovs at 7:14 of the second, taking a feed from McDavid, who had curled out from behind the net and made the pass to the untouched winger.

A little more than four minutes later, defenceman Evan Bouchard's slap shot from the point off a feed from the corner by Draisaitl got past Silovs to put the Oilers up by two.

Late in the period, the Canucks endured an Oilers' power play while down two players for 55 seconds — with Conor Garland off for roughing and Dakota Joshua joining him 1:05 later for high-sticking — killing it off entirely while withstanding six scoring chances.

The Oilers had their turn to kill off a pair of penalties at the end of the frame and into the third, with Derek Ryan going off for hooking the Canucks' J.T. Miller and the Edmonton bench a minute later taking a too-many-men-on-the-ice call.

A backhand pass into the low slot by McDavid, who had streaked into the Canucks zone along the boards, resulted in a goal by Nugent-Hopkins, who arrived at the top of the crease in time to tuck it behind Silovs for a 4-1 Oilers lead at 3:25 of the third.

Almost 10 minutes later, at 13:04, Evander Kane made it 5-1 Oilers on a one-timer after Draisaitl fed it back to the winger off a faceoff in the Canucks zone, with Kane snapping it past Silovs and the Vancouver defenders. 

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