Instant Reaction: Oilers on brink of elimination after Game 5 loss in Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks J.T. Miller
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
30 days ago
Well, that was absolutely awful. The Canucks won Game 5 by a score of 3-2, putting the Oilers on the brink of elimination.
For the fourth time this series, the Oilers scored the game’s first goal, as the Kane-Draisaitl-Holloway had sustained zone time. Leon Draisaitl eventually found Evander Kane, who was waiting on the doorstep to bury the opener.
Vancouver tied the game late in the first, as a seeing-eye shot from Carson Soucy beat Calvin Pickard above the glove, tying the pivotal game at one apiece.
However, Edmonton’s fourth line answered right back. Connor Brown and Mattias Janmark had a two-on-one after Soucy blew a tire, leading to Brown giving Janmark a perfect pass to regain the lead.
The Canucks tied the game a few minutes into the second period. Evan Bouchard had a horrendous giveaway beside the net, allowing to Phil Di Guiseppe to get right in front and slot the puck under Pickard’s pad. It looked like Vancouver might have had too many players on the ice, but the goal was good. 
And then, late in the third period, there was heartbreak. With both teams seemingly headed to overtime, a pass deflected off the skate of the Canuck in front of Edmonton’s net and J.T. Miller buried it. With just 33 seconds left on the clock, the Oilers couldn’t get a shot on goal. The Canucks won 3-2 and took a 3-2 series lead. 

Things worth mentioning…

Calvin Pickard had a great game, saving 32 of 35 shots and also making a few key stops. If the Oilers had this in the first three games of the series, there’s a high probability that this series would be over, or at the very least, the Oilers would be heading back to Edmonton with the series lead.
The offence went cold after the first period, as they registered just four shots in the second period to Vancouver’s 17, while the third period saw the Canucks totally shut them down from any high-danger opportunities, the shots being 8-7 in favour of Edmonton.
The reffing in this game resulted in some anger from Canucks fans. In the second period, Elias Pettersson stood up a check from Warren Foegele and was called for charging. The fans in Vancouver threw cups and cans on the ice in response.
You can’t say the Oilers didn’t have their chances though, as they went 0-5 on the power play, including three in the first period that could’ve seen them put the Canucks on their heels.
Edmonton was out-hit, out-shot, and outworked, and at least to me, it feels similar to Game 5 in the second round of the 2023 postseason. The Vegas Golden Knights went on to win Game 6 in Edmonton before winning it all. Hopefully, the Oilers can play significantly better than last season and drag the Canucks to seven games.

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