By Joshua Clipperton in Calgary
The Edmonton Oilers are heading to the Western Conference Finals.
Connor McDavid scored 5:03 into overtime as the Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Thursday to win their second-round playoff series 4-1.
The Edmonton captain scored his seventh playoff goal past Jacob Markstrom on a pass from Leon Draisaitl to send the Oilers over the bench in celebration.
Zach Hyman, with a goal and two assists, Darnell Nurse, Jesse Puljujarvi and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers. Mike Smith made 32 saves as Edmonton won Alberta’s first post-season battle in 31 years.
Draisaitl added four assists – his fifth straight fight registering more than three points to build on the NHL playoff record he set in Game 4.
Both McDavid and Draisaitl have amassed 26 points to lead the playoffs so far.
The Oilers will face either the Colorado Avalanche or the St. Louis Blues in their first conference finals appearance since 2006. Colorado leads this series 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for Friday in St. Louis.
Mikael Backlund, with a goal and an assist, Johnny Gaudreau, Calle Jarnkrok and Andrew Mangiapane replied for Calgary. Blake Coleman added two assists, while Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves as the Flames fell to 0-10 as they led a playoff series 3-1.
Coleman, who won the Cup the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, appeared to break a 4-4 tie with just under six minutes left in regulation after Backlund took the puck into the net from Edmonton. But the goal was overturned following a video review after it was ruled the winger kicked the puck over Smith’s goal line with his skate as he battled with the Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci.
With his team trailing 1-0 after a faltering first period, Edmonton interim head coach Jay Woodcroft doubled Draisaitl and McDavid early in the second, and it almost paid off on some good chances.
But the Flames, who outscored the Oilers by seven points in the regular season to claim the Pacific Division crown, took a 2-0 lead at 5:41 when Backlund scored his fifth on a deft deflection.
The Oilers went up the board at 7:40 after Draisaitl protected the puck against Backlund before finding Nurse in the slot to shoot his second after a masked Markstrom.
Edmonton tied just 2:26 later on a 3-on-1 run when Markstrom could only get a piece of Hyman’s shot before Puljujarvi brought in his second goal as the Oilers erased another deficit from several goals on the road.
The offensive floodgates then really opened on a crazy streak that would see four pucks find the back of the net in 71 seconds.
Hyman scored his sixth goal of the series, and eighth of the playoffs, on the power play at 14:57 before Gaudreau tied it again at 3-3 at 15:12 with his third.
Jarnkrok then scored his first as a member of the Flames since joining in a trade with the Seattle Kraken at 3:28 to make it 4-3.
But the Oilers responded again at 16:08 when Bouchard’s outburst beat Markstrom for his second as the teams set an NHL record for the fastest four goals in playoff history – 22 seconds faster than the previous mark set by the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976.
After a lukewarm start for both teams inside a nervous Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames took the lead at 10:13 of first when Mangiapane caught a terrific pass from Coleman to bury his third goal of the playoffs. playoffs.
The winger’s first point of the series gave his team its first lead since the end of the second period in Game 2 – a streak of exactly 155 minutes – which started a three-game losing streak to push Calgary to the edge of elimination.
One of three Vezina Trophy finalists as the league’s top goaltender in the regular season, Markstrom entered Thursday with a .850 save percentage in the series after posting a .943 mark in the Calgary win in seven games over the Dallas Stars in the first round.
After the Oilers, who beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 to set up the game with their provincial rival, killed a high-sticking McDavid penalty, the Flames goaltender had to scramble to keep the sprint of the captained Edmonton to the net from distance with the puck briefly left loose in the Calgary pocket.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 26, 2022.
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