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Edmonton Oilers force Game 7 with 5-1 win over Canucks

Connor McDavid had three assists as the Edmonton Oilers stayed alive with a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night at Rogers Place.

The seventh and deciding game of the series will be played Monday in Vancouver (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 5 p.m., game at 7 p.m.).

“A lot of guys have been in this situation before and you’ve got to ride the highs and lows of the playoffs and try to stay as even-keel as possible,” Darnell Nurse said post-game. “It was good for us but all we did was give ourselves a chance to play one more game.”

Dylan Holloway ignited the crowd with a marvelous individual effort 8:18 into the game. He grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, stormed through the Canucks defence, and tucked the puck under Arturs Silovs for his third of the post-season.

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“They were kind of cheating thinking Leon was going to pick up the puck and he did,” Holloway recalled. “I was able to gain some speed, he made a nice play to me and I caught their (defence) flatfooted.”

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“For a guy who came up for the playoffs to do that–he’s had some big moments here–but it’s a huge goal to settle the team down to get us up and it was just an unbelievable individual effort,” Zach Hyman said.

It took Vancouver only 1:45 to reply with Nils Hoglander banging his own rebound past Stuart Skinner.

Evan Bouchard blasted a shot past Silovs with 0.8 seconds on the clock, but the goal was disallowed as McDavid was deemed guilty of incidental contact on Silovs in the crease.

Hyman notched his tenth of the playoffs in the second when his shot from the slot hit Silovs on the left pad and floated into the net. Four minutes later, Evan Bouchard blasted a long shot right inside the post for his fifth. The Oilers had a golden opportunity to extend the lead when they had a two-man advantage for 55 seconds, but the Canucks penalty kill held firm.

Late in the second, it was the Oilers PK’s turn to come up big, negating a 56-second five-on-three for the Canucks.

The one thing that got away from our momentum was the penalties we took,” Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch acknowledged.

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“I think the big part of that five-on-three was Skinner,” Vincent Desharnais said. “Every save he made, he made it look pretty easy. It started with a huge faceoff by Nuge that was great for us. And Ekholm has so much experience–he’s so good defensively and his stick is great.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tapped in a pass from McDavid to make it 4-1 Oilers 3:25 into the third. Evander Kane wired in a wrister off a clean face-off win by Leon Draisaitl with 6:56 left. It was Draisaitl’s 100th career playoff point.

Bouchard and Nugent-Hopkins both had a goal and two assists.

Skinner returned to the net after sitting out games four and five and earned the win with 14 saves.

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