Connor McDavid gives Edmonton Oilers double OT win over Dallas Stars

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Connor McDavid scored 32 seconds into the second overtime period to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday night in Texas.

“You gotta win tight games,” McDavid said after the game. “We’re down to the final four teams and you don’t get to the final four without being a great team, so all four teams are solid.

“Dallas is a great team and it’s going to be tight hockey, and we’re comfortable in these games. We’re comfortable in this environment and I thought we did a great job — truthfully — all game. I thought we played really well all game and generated chances, defended well — I thought we did a lot of things.”

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Stanley Cup playoffs: Are the Edmonton Oilers really Canada’s team?

The Stars had the first great scoring chance of the series when Evgenii Dadonov went in alone on Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner, just two minutes into the game. Dadonov tried a wrister, but Skinner came up with the save.

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Oilers winger Warren Foegele had a breakaway late in the first, but fumbled his deke attempt and didn’t get a shot on goal.

The Oilers went ahead 58 seconds into the second. Brett Kulak’s point shot was blocked and deflected to Leon Draisaitl, who buried his ninth of the playoffs before Stars netminder Jake Oettinger could get all the way across.

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Just over three minutes later, Oilers forward Zach Hyman battled for a puck in front and muscled his twelfth under Oettinger.

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Edmonton Oilers returning to Western Conference final as a more mature, experienced team

The Stars struck a couple of minutes later when Kulak whiffed on a clearing attempt, allowing Jamie Benn to move in alone on Skinner. Benn, forced to his backhand, got the puck into the crease where Tyler Seguin banged it in.

Seguin tied it with 3:23 to go in the third, when the puck deflected to him at the side of the net, allowing him to pop it home.

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Off the ensuing centre ice faceoff, Oilers forward Dylan Holloway went in alone, but Oettinger came up with a brilliant right pad save.

McDavid was charged with a double-minor for high-sticking Matt Duchene off the opening faceoff in overtime. The Oilers’ penalty kill continued to excel and killed it off.

“You’ve got to score on that double-minor,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer said.

“That’s probably the game right there.”

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Oilers in Dallas for Game 1. What do they need to focus on?

McDavid appeared to have Oettinger at his mercy with 5:21 left in overtime, but Oettinger extended his paddle to make the save.

In the second overtime, Evan Bouchard gathered the puck along the right wing boards and sent a pass in front to McDavid. The Oilers’ captain calmly chipped the puck past Oettinger to end the game.

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“It was nice to score an overtime goal,” McDavid said. “A big goal. Great play by Bouchard, as per usual.”

“If we didn’t pull that game out, I’m not sure Connor would have slept tonight,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

Skinner earned the win with 31 saves. Oettinger finished with 35.

“Great for momentum,” Skinner said.

“Being able to keep this momentum moving forward is going to be massive.”

Game 2 of the NHL playoff series is Saturday in Dallas. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 4 p.m. The actual game is at 6 p.m.

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Edmonton Oilers prepare to head to Texas for 3rd round of NHL playoffs

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