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Oilers Win Game 7 3-2 To Advance To Western Conference Final

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Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard (2) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrate after assisting on Zach Hyman’s goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period in Game 7 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monday, May 20, 2024. (Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press via AP)

(CTN News) – The Oilers are showing they have goal-scorers other than Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ goals and assists helped Edmonton beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 on Monday to advance to the Western Conference final.

Evan Bouchard had two assists and Zach Hyman and Cody Ceci added two goals for the Oilers. Stuart Skinner saved 15 times.

“Everybody is needed,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “I’m really proud of the work we did with this group.”

Among Oilers postseason players, Draisaitl leads the team with 24 points.

The top defensemen are McDavid with 21 points, and Bouchard with 20 points. The Canucks held McDavid scoreless for the third time in seven games and allowed Draisaitl one assist.

It will be Edmonton’s series opener against Dallas on Thursday night. The Edmonton Oilers are making their second appearance in the conference finals in three years. Arturs Silovs saved 26 shots during Vancouver’s third period, including goals by Conor Garland and Filip Hronek.

A blood clotting issue sidelined the Canucks’ leading goal scorer Brock Boeser on Monday, which led to a reorganization of the Canucks’ forward lines. There was a draw in Game 7 between Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev after they missed the previous two meetings. A scratch was made for Vasily Podkolzin.

In his first Stanley Cup playoffs, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch praised Nugent-Hopkins and the bottom six forwards for killing a late-first-period four-minute penalty on Ryan McLeod.

“I felt we played really well,” Knoblauch said of his team’s 13-2 first-period win over Vancouver. “Our penalty kill has been really solid, like it has been for almost all of the playoffs, but that could be a turning point in the game.” Silovs stopped all 13 shots in the first period.

Ceci gave his squad the lead on the second period’s first shot with a right-point slap shot that beat Silovs high to the glove side at 1:16. Hyman scored his 11th playoff goal, leading the NHL, by tipping Bouchard’s point shot to Silovs’ stick side at 5:20 of the Oilers’ first power play.

Nugent-Hopkins increased the lead to 3-0 with a sharp angle shot at 4:38. Edmonton scored its first power-play goal in three games.

For the opening 52 minutes, the Oilers Canucks struggled to score.

With 8:23 left in the third quarter, Garland’s unassisted slot shot energized the team and its fans. Hronek drew Vancouver within one with 4:36 left, and they kept the pressure until the final whistle.

“I think we played really well for the most part,” said Draisaitl, who made waves during the 2023 playoffs when he called 2023–24 a “Cup or Bust” season. Can we reduce stress? Most likely. Vancouver was 0 for 3 on the power play while Edmonton was 1:2.

The were 20/23 in penalty kills in the series. After surrendering one goal and fifteen shots in his comeback to the net in Edmonton’s Game 6 win, Skinner faced 17 shots in Game 7, five of which came in the third quarter. But that didn’t simplify the evening.

Skinner said they could construct plays but not score. “I was, quite frankly, working very hard.” I got a few images, but that’s a testament to the ones in front. The Oilers improved to 8-4, while the Canucks fell to 6-7 in Game 7.

The Canucks played their first playoff game since 2015. Even after Thatcher Demko, a Vezina Trophy candidate, was injured in the first round, the Canucks advanced for the first time since the 2020 playoff bubble.

Vancouver head coach Rick Tocchet noted his team’s improvement since joining in January 2023 after the match. He said “They restored respect to that jersey and to this city.” “There’s something for fans to be happy about.”

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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