“It’s hard to put into words what that one meant to me,” McDavid said after the game. “The guys did a great job of hanging in there all night. It definitely wasn’t our best effort, but we stuck in there and we got great performances from a bunch of different guys. Just happy to contribute on a night were I maybe didn’t have my best.”
The Oilers win the series 4-1 and will play in the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006.
The Flames took the lead halfway through the first when Andrew Mangiapane converted a pass from Blake Coleman.
Mikael Backlund made it 2-0 with a deflection in the second period.
The Oilers came back with two goals in 2:16. Darnell Nurse ripped home a shot from the high slot, then Jesse Puljujarvi tucked in a loose puck after a shot from Zach Hyman.
Late in the second, the teams set a new NHL playoff record by combining for four goals in 1:11. Hyman rapped in a power play goal to give the Oilers the lead. Johnny Gaudreau and Calle Jarnkrok tallied for Calgary. Evan Bouchard pounded in a point shot off a pass from Leon Draisaitl, his third assist of the period. It was 4-4 after two.
The Flames thought they took the lead with 5:57 left in the third. Backlund’s shot went through Smith and was headed over the line. Blake Coleman drove the net and had the puck go in off his skate. After video review, the officials ruled Coleman propelled the puck in with his skate. The goal was taken off the board.
“Depends what you call a distinct kicking motion,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “If somebody’s on the ground and you lift your foot up, kick him in the head, that’s a distinct kicking motion.
“If you slide your foot in the ground, it’s not a distinct kicking motion.”
Said Coleman: “I opened my foot, but my understanding is that you can redirect the puck off your foot as long as you’re not lifting it and kicking it into the net. I’ll go watch it again and maybe it’s glaringly obvious. I just didn’t feel like I did.”
In overtime, Draisaitl slid the puck to McDavid, who stepped into the slot and fired a shot past Jacob Markstrom’s glove.
“I thought our whole team did a great job, other than Game 1 obviously, to kind of adjust and get back to what makes us successful as a team,” Draisaitl said. “So, I’m really, really proud of the guys.”
Draisaitl had four assists and finished the series with 17 points.
“I think with our group there is a measure of calm, a measure composure and a strong belief that we have the people in the room that can get us through any type of circumstance — so we felt good about our chances,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
The Oilers will take on either Colorado or St. Louis in the next round.
(With files from The Canadian Press)