CALGARY, Alberta — Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl dominated Alberta’s first playoff battle in 31 years.
It suits Edmonton’s dynamic duo to end it.
McDavey scored at 5:03 in overtime as the Oilers advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series on Thursday night.
The Edmonton captain scored his seventh goal of the playoffs, beating Jacob Markstrom on Dresser’s pass to send the Oilers overflowing the bench to celebrate.
“It’s hard to put into words what that means to me,” McDavey said. “These guys did a great job staying there all night. Definitely not our best effort, but we persevered. Got a great show from a different group of people.
“It’s nice to be able to contribute on a night where I might not be at my best.”
Zach Heyman had a goal and two assists, and Darnell Nurse, Jesse Poole Juharvey and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers. Mike Smith made 32 saves as Edmonton won its first playoff game in Alberta in 31 years.
Draisaitl added four assists — his fifth straight game with three or more points to establish his NHL playoff record in Game 4.
“He’s everything to us,” said Draisaitl, who is dealing with a lower extremity injury believed to have been suffered late in the opening round. “He’s our leader, he’s our first choice, he’s the guy everyone looks up to when you need him. He’s done it all season, his entire career. He’s been to us Awesome. Eventually you’ll be speechless.”
So far, both McDavid and Dresser have amassed 26 points to lead the playoffs.
“I just wanted my legs to go,” McDavey said of the winner. “They didn’t move very well all night – just trying to focus on skating and then going into pre-check and passing the puck to Leo.
“Usually when the puck falls to Leo, good things happen.”
The Oilers will face either the Colorado Avalanche or the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2006. Colorado leads the series 3-2 with Game 6 on Friday in St. Louis.
“With Connor’s performance, Leon’s performance was a little bit overlooked,” said Jay Woodcroft, the Oilers interim head coach, who replaced Dave Tippett, who was fired on Feb. 10, and now Edmonton has eight wins in the Stanley Cup. “He’s the best passer in the NHL — the best passer in the world. The number of games he’s contributed to our team is unbelievable. Do it with what he’s going through, He is an absolute warrior.
“When I walked into that room (in February), I was bullish on our players because I saw a genuine desire to win. Not just a desire to win, but I saw that people were willing to pay for it.”
Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, as did Johnny Gaudreau, Calle Jankrok and Andrew Mangiapane for Calgary. Blake Coleman added two assists and Mark Strom made 30 saves as the Flames trailed 3-1 at 0-10 in the playoff series.
“This series is about Games 2, 4 and 5 … they’re all tied midway through the third quarter,” Calgary head coach Daryl Sutter said.
“Edmonton scored big.”
Coleman, who has won cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning the past two seasons, had less than six minutes left in regulation after Backlund smashed the puck hard into Edmonton’s net. It appears to be a 4-4 draw. But the goal was interrupted by a wave after the video commented, as the winger used his skates to kick the puck over Smith’s goal line during a fight with Oilers defender Cody Ceci.
“I don’t think I understand the rules,” Coleman said. “My understanding is that you can direct the puck, but you can’t play it. I don’t feel like I played it.
“Unfortunately, it was a big part of the game that happened to affect where the game was going.”
Edmonton interim head coach Jay Woodcroft put his team down 1-0 at the start of the second quarter after his team double-shifted Draisaitl and McDavid early in the second quarter , which almost paid off with several good opportunities.
But the Flames, who beat the Oilers to the Pacific Division title by seven points in the regular season, went 2-0 at 5:41 when Backlund scored his fifth on a slick deflection. a goal.
The Oilers got on the board at 7:40 after Draisaitl protected the puck against Backlund, then found Nurse for his second shot while covering Markstrom.
Edmonton tied the game with a 3-1 sprint after 2:26 when Mark Strom had only one shot from Heyman before Puljujarvi swept home his second as the Oilers Another multi-target deficit was eliminated on the road.
Then, 4 goals were scored in 71 seconds.
Heyman scored his sixth goal of the series and eighth goal of the playoffs, in a power game at 14:57, when Gaudre made it three again at 15:12 The score is tied.
Jankrok then scored his first goal as a member of the Flames in a trade with the Seattle Krakens at 15:28 to make it 4-3.
But the Oilers responded again at 16:08 when Bouchard’s outburst beat Mark Strom for his second goal as the team set the fastest pace in NHL playoff history The record of four goals — more than the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976.
“It’s crazy,” Draisaitl said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
After a tepid start for both teams, the Flames were in Game 1 when Manjapane picked up a fine pass from Coleman for his third goal of the playoffs. 10 minutes and 13 seconds ahead of the game.
The winger’s first point in the series gave his team its first lead since three straight losses in the late second period of Game 2 — 155 minutes — pushing Calgary to The edge of elimination.
The league’s best goalie in the regular season and one of three finalists for the Visina Trophy, Mark Strom entered Thursday with a .943 ERA in Calgary’s seven-game first-round win over the Dallas Stars, at Entered the series with a .850 save percentage.
After the Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 to set up a showdown with their provincial rivals, killing McDavey’s high free throw, the Flames goalie had to scramble to stop the Edmonton captain’s rushing ball into the net . The puck is briefly free at the crease in Calgary.
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