Instant Reaction: Oilers turn it on against Canucks, force Game 7

Edmonton Oilers Evan Bouchard
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
It all comes down to Game 7, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 Saturday night to even up the series, sending it back to Vancouver.

For the fifth time in six games, the Oilers jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Dylan Holloway scored a beautiful goal for his third of the postseason. He won a puck battle in the neutral zone, deked out a Canuck defender, and blew by the other one before sliding the puck five hole on Artūrs Šilovs.
Like in so many times this series, the Canucks answered right back as Elias Pettersson circled the net and found a wide-open Nils Höglander in front of the net. A missed assignment from Ryan McLeod was the cause for this goal.
That was the last goal the Canucks would score, though. Midway through the second period, the Oilers had sustained zone time, and Connor McDavid found Zach Hyman in the slot. Šilovs saved it initially, but it bounced up in the air and into the back of the net.
This series has proved that Evan Bouchard is better than Quinn Hughes. After some more sustained pressure in the zone, Bouchard let one rip and went post in for his fifth postseason goal.
The Oilers kept the pressure on in the third period, as a transition play saw McDavid pass the puck to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the centre of the ice, and he was easily able to tuck it in to put the game out of reach.
For good measure, Leon Draisaitl won an offensive zone faceoff right to Evander Kane, who beat Šilovs for the Oilers’ fifth goal of the game, giving us our final score.

Things worth mentioning…

What a bounceback it was for Connor McDavid, who had assists on three goals in this game. McDavid was held pointless in his past three games, so he needed this one.
With two assists in this game, Leon Draisaitl became the third fastest player to hit 100 playoff points (60 games), behind Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. Say what you want about his game in the regular season, but Draisaitl always steps it up in the playoffs.
Evan Bouchard has become one of the best defencemen in the league. Sure, the actual defending part still needs work, but there hasn’t been a more impactful defenceman in this postseason. On Saturday, he had a goal and an assist. Time to re-sign him for as long as possible.
Stuart Skinner made his first start since Game 4, saving 12 of 13 shots for a .933 save percentage. This was only Skinner’s eighth postseason game with a save percentage of over .900 in 21 appearances. My guess is that Pickard will get the start on Monday.
Up next: Speaking of Monday, the most important game of the season (so far) will be played on Monday at 7:00 PM MT, as the Oilers and Canucks will battle in Game 7. Let’s hope Adam Henrique is healthy for that game as well.
If you enjoy my content, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.


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