Instant Reaction: Oilers advance to Stanley Cup Final with 2-1 win over Stars

Edmonton Oilers Advance to Stanley Cup Final
Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
18 days ago

Ladies and gentlemen, the Edmonton Oilers are heading to their first Stanley Cup Final since the 2006 postseason, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 in Game 6 to win the series 4-2.
For the 14th time in 18 postseason games, the Oilers scored the first goal of the game, as “Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things,” according to Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner. Not much else to say other than he’s the greatest play of all time, especially if they win this year’s Cup.
The Oilers scored the game-winning goal on their second power play of the game, as Zach Hyman was found in the slot, beating Jake Oettinger glove-side to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead. This is his postseason-leading 14th goal of the playoffs.
It stayed this way for the entirety of the second period and half of the third before Mason Marchment cut the lead in half as a lucky bounce off the board caused some issues leading to the goal.
However, this was all the Stars would get on Stuart Skinner, as the Oilers shut things down and edged out a 2-1 win. Dallas outshot Edmonton 35 to 10 but a huge performance from Skinner led them to victory. 

Things worth mentioning…

Stuart Skinner. That’s it, that’s the point. Oilers had 10 shots, the Stars had 35, with Skinner allowing just one goal for a .971 save percentage. Yes, he had some issues in the Vancouver series, but in the Dallas series, he had a .922 save percentage. Since the two games off in Vancouver, he has a .920 save percentage and an 8-2-0 record.
The Oilers’ 10 shots on net were the fewest in a Conference Final-clinching game since 1990, and it was the worst shot differential of all time, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Yet, the Oilers had more goals, which is all that matters.
Edmonton’s penalty kill once again, is fantastic. All three penalties they faced were killed, extending their streak to 28, and their postseason percentage climbed to 94.3% (50/53). This was the second series where they didn’t allow a goal on the penalty kill.
If you’re like me, born in the ’90s, the only time you’ve seen a Canadian team win a Big Four North American Sports League Championship was when the Toronto Raptors did so in 2019. There is an interesting parallel between that team and the Oilers. In Round 1, both teams won in five, in Round 2, both teams won in seven, and in Round 3, both teams won in six games. So… Oilers in six?
Dallas plays a professional game. You can count on one hand how many times a scrum ensued after a whistle. Florida, on the other hand, is the total opposite. Spearheaded by former Calgary Flame Matthew Tkachuk, this team is mean, nasty, and takes a lot of penalties, which is a good thing for an Oilers power play that has been rolling.
Speaking of the Flames, Edmonton’s provincial rival traded Chris Tanev to the Dallas Stars before the trade deadline. One of the assets that could’ve been involved in that trade was Dallas’ 2026 third round, but the condition on that was that Dallas had to make the finals.
Since the 2000 postseason, the only two Canadian teams who haven’t been to the Stanley Cup Final are the Winnipeg Jets (who returned 11 seasons later) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (it’s just funny at this point). Calgary did it in 2004, Ottawa did it in 2007, Vancouver did it in 2011, Montréal did it in 2021, and Edmonton has now done it twice, once in 2006 and now in 2024.
Up next: There are, at most, seven more games left in the 2023-24 season, and thankfully, the Oilers are playing in the final. There’ll be a long break before the next series begins, as Game 1 comes our way on Saturday, June 8 at 6:00 PM MT. Go and win the cup, Edmonton.

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