Rudy Gay with a deep 3 vs Utah Jazz

The Canadian Press

Edmonton Oilers clinch playoff berth with 5-3 win over Vancouver Canucks

VANCOUVER – Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers have accomplished their first goal of the season – making the playoffs. A 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday solidified Edmonton’s place in the playoffs, but the Oilers captain said the hard work was far from over. “Your first goal every season is to make the playoffs. This is the first step and we have been able to do it, ”McDavid said. Now we just have to keep working on our game and pay attention to the details and get ready for the playoffs. “Edmonton sits second in the North Division, eight points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. Vancouver remains at the bottom of the Canadian All-Star group with nine games to go. Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks brought out the Oilers playoffs in a five-game playoff streak. It’s an experience that has motivated the team this year, said McDavid. “Everyone left the bubble in a bad mood. Nobody felt good about it. of where we were at, how this series went, ”he said. This season everyone in the locker room has done a good job buying and believing, he added, and on the ice they have found “And offensively I was pretty good,” McDavid said. , who leads the NHL with 91 points (31 goals, 60 assists). “So I think that’s a recipe for a playoff team. And now it’s up to us to make sure we’re ready for Game 1.” The Edmonton star center netted two goals and two assists in Monday’s victory, but said he was not wondering whether or not he will hit the 100 point mark in the condensed pandemic campaign. that I can and make sure my game is where it needs to go into the playoffs, ”he said. “It’s a number. If I get there, great, if not, it’s not the end of the world either.” The rest of the Oilers locker room will do whatever they can to help McDavid, defenseman Tyson Barrie said. “But he can do it on his own if he needs to,” he said with a smile. “He plays the right way every night and he hasn’t taken any nights off which is pretty amazing. It was awesome to watch this year and fun to be a part of it.” Jesse Puljujarvi had a goal and an assist on Monday, while Barrie and Dominik Kahun also scored for Edmonton (31-17-2), and Leon Draisaitl had two assists. Nate Schmidt and JT Miller scored for the Canucks (19-24-3), who saw their losing skid stretch to five games. Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 of 23 for his 12th win of the season. Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby made 27 saves. The Oilers had a 4-2 lead heading into the third Monday night and refused to give in. The Canucks managed just one shot on goal in the first 15 minutes of the period. Vancouver shot Holtby with 3:29 left on the clock and the move immediately paid off with Boeser shooting a shot past Koskinen in a toss. The right winger leads the Canucks in scoring with 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists). McDavid sealed the score at 5-3, burying a shot in an empty net at 1:00 to go. Oilers coach Dave Tippett liked the way his squad held on for the win. “I thought we were pretty strong. We weren’t giving up a lot,” he said. “We need to keep improving in this area. It’s not just a matter of checking. It’s our game without the puck, but also our game with the puck, the ability to make good plays, not return the puck to the wrong places on the ice and play in the offensive zone. Kahun ended the second period with a blast in front of Holtby, going 4-2 for Edmonton with 44.1 seconds left on the clock. Miller had briefly reduced the Oilers’ lead to 3-2 with his 12th goal of the year. Vancouver’s second of the night came at 5:16 pm in the second when Miller slipped a backhand shot under Koskinen’s outstretched glove from the top of the crease. Barely 41 seconds earlier, McDavid landed a Canucks pass. in the neutral zone, skated on Vancouver territory and shot Holtby. The goaltender initially appeared to make a glove stop, but the puck sank through and his attempt to dive back and sweeping out of the goal line failed. Barrie gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead just 18 seconds into the game. Holtby stopped a Puljujarvi shot but couldn’t correlate the rebound. Barrie a picked up the puck at the top of the playing area and quickly scored it for his eighth goal of the season. The Canucks tied the game 1-1 before the end of the first, thanks to Schmidt’s fifth goal of the season. The defenseman took advantage of a screen in front of rookie Nils Hoglander’s net and fired a shot from the top of the left face-off circle, beating Koskinen on the blockers’ side. The Oilers quickly took the lead after McDavid sent a smooth pass to Puljujarvi across the slot. The Finnish forward shot a clock after Holtby from the right face-off circle to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 3:45 am. It was Puljujarvi’s 13th goal of the year. Canucks coach Travis Green said Monday’s result was a tough loss. “Obviously their leading line was a big factor in the game. We made a few mistakes on a few of their goals, but you’re going to make mistakes and they made us pay,” he said. declared. “I thought we had a line that had a really strong play, a few lines that worked extremely hard and weren’t rewarded, and we tried to push at the end.” Monday’s game kicked off four straight games between the Oilers and the Canucks. The second round will take place in Vancouver on Tuesday. The Oilers hold a 4-2 advantage in the season series between the two teams with four games to go. NOTES: Each side was 0 to 1 on the power play. … The Canucks recalled defenseman Jack Rathbone and center Tyler Graovac from the taxi team earlier Monday in moves to fill spots on a team that has been rocked by injuries. … Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse played his 400th NHL game. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 3, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press


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Larry Struck

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