Instant Reaction: Oilers push Stars to the brink of elimination with 3-1 win in Game 5

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scores goal vs Dallas Stars
Photo credit:Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
20 days ago
One. More. Win.
The Oilers need just one more win to head to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2006, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 to give them a 3-2 series lead, with a chance to end it at home in Game 6.
Coming into this game, the Oilers had allowed the first goal in a game just four times, so it isn’t a shock they scored the first goal for the 13th time this postseason. The goal came from a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins power play goal, as he banged in a rebound, giving Edmonton’s power play its first goal this series.
It wasn’t its last though, as on a zone entry on their second power play of the game, Nugent-Hopkins once again beat Oettinger. This time, it was a rush shot off the post, similar to a goal he had scored in the Vancouver series.
The Oilers jumped out to a third-goal lead before the end of the period as… Philip Broberg scored his first career postseason goal? Off an Evander Kane faceoff win? What is this bizarro world? Anyway, this is a daily public service announcement that Broberg needs to be playing in this lineup next season. He’s ready.
Sadly for Stuart Skinner, he was unable to secure his second career postseason shutout, as Wyatt Johnston had a phenomenal tip in front of the goal, beating the Oilers’ netminder in the third period. Still, it was a great game for him as we’ll cover in the next section.
Things worth mentioning…
Stuart Skinner saved 19 of 20 shots for a .950 save percentage in what could go down as his best postseason start of his career. Not only were the numbers great, but he also made numerous huge stops, especially in the third period. Consistency is key for Skinner, and let’s hope he can build off this.
Stuart Skinner (again) deserves more love. Skinner on the road has been a different beast, as he has a 6-2 record, along with a 1.91 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. Remember how Vancouver Canucks fans were chanting Skinner’s name and we all thought they were mocking him? Well, it turns out they were just preemptively cheering for Canada’s goalie.
Corey Perry briefly left the game after a pretty big hit by Joe Pavelski in the first period. After not initially being on the bench to start the second period, he would later return. Still, depending on how he’s feeling, the Oilers could shake up the lineup. One idea for that is bringing in Warren Foegele and playing him alongside Ryan McLeod and Leon Draisaitl; that trio had chemistry early in the season.
Evan Bouchard has become one of the league’s best defencemen right before our eyes. He picked up two apples in this game and now has six goals and 25 points in 17 games. Not to get too ahead of myself here, but if the Oilers win the cup (and you can’t discredit the Stars from getting back in this, or either of the east teams), he’d be my Conn Smythe pick for the Oilers.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins deserves all of this. The longest tenured Oiler had to put up with so much crap early in his career, namely the decade of darkness. If there’s a career-Oiler, it’s him. After coming off his 37 goal, 104-point performance in 2022-23, he only had 18 goals and 67 points in 2023-24. Well, he now has six goals and 20 points this postseason. Keep Nuge Forever.
After falling down 2-0 on Wednesday, the Oilers managed to score eight straight goals, five in Game 4 and three in Game 5, before Johnston’s goal ended that streak.
The penalty kill continues to be excellent. They killed off two penalties in this game, which is now 25 straight kills and are 47/50 this entire postseason. Props to the power play for getting going as well, as it was ⅔ in this game.
Up next: The Oilers will have a chance to book their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 18 years, the drought is old enough to drink now! Game 6 comes on Sunday at 6:00 PM MT. It goes without saying, but the Stars can’t be overlooked, as the Presidents’ Trophy winners will throw everything they have at the Oilers to stay alive. A 3-2 series lead doesn’t mean a series win, look no further than the Oilers going down 3-2 to the Canucks.
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