Oilers knock off Flames in OT to advance to Western Conference final
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl dominated the first playoff Battle of Alberta in 31 years.
It was fitting Edmonton's dynamic duo combined to end it.
McDavid scored off a slick Draisaitl setup at 5:03 of overtime Thursday as the Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-4 to win their second-round series 4-1.
"Hard to put into words what that one meant to me," McDavid said. "The guys did a great job of hanging in there all night. Definitely wasn't our best effort, but we stuck in there. Got great performances from a bunch of different guys.
"Just happy to contribute on a night where I maybe didn't have my best."
Edmonton's captain fired his seventh goal of the post-season past Jacob Markstrom and off the post to spark a wild celebration as the Oilers moved onto the Western Conference final for the first time since 2006.
McDavid grabbed hold of Edmonton's first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings with the Oilers down 3-2, and raised the bar even higher against Calgary.
"He's everything to us," Draisaitl said. "He's our leader, he's our go-to guy, he's the guy that everyone looks up to when you need him. He's done it all season, he's done it all his career. He's been amazing for us. Eventually you run out of words."
"I just tried to get my legs going," McDavid said of the winner. "They weren't moving all that well all night — just trying to focus on skating and got in on the forecheck and got the puck to Leo.
"Usually when the puck goes to Leo something good's gonna happen."
That was certainly the case in a series where Draisaitl finished with 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in five games while dealing with what's believed to be a lower-body injury suffered late in the opening round.
"He was amazing," McDavid said of his linemate. "Dominated from start to finish."
McDavid, who had two goals and 10 assists against Calgary, and Draisaitl both have 26 points through 12 post-season games this spring — the sixth and seventh times in NHL history a player has reached that level.
"With what Connor's done, Leon's performance has gone under the radar a little bit," said Oilers interim head coach Jay Woodcroft, who replaced the fired Dave Tippett on Feb. 10 and now has Edmonton eight wins from the Stanley Cup. "He's the best passer in the National Hockey League — the best passer in the world. And the amount of plays that he makes for our team is unbelievable. To do that with what he's going through, he's an absolute warrior.
"When I walked into that room (in) February, I was bullish on our players because I saw a sincere desire to win. Not just the desire to win, but I saw people willing to pay the price to win."
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.
Draisaitl added four assists — his fifth straight contest registering three-plus points to build on the NHL playoff record he set in Game 4.
The Oilers will face either the Colorado Avalanche or St. Louis Blues in the third round. Colorado leads that series 3-2, with Game 6 set 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 chipped in with two assists, while Markstrom made 30 saves.
The Flames won a wild Game 1 by a 9-6 scoreline, but were unable to ever really find another level after topping the Pacific Division in the regular season.
"The series was about Games 2, Games 4 and Games 5 ... they were all tied in the third period halfway through," Calgary head coach Darryl Sutter said.
"Edmonton scored the big goal."
Coleman, who won the Cup the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, appeared to snap a 4-4 tie with just under six minutes left in regulation when Backlund took the puck hard to Edmonton's net. But the goal was waved off following a video review after it was ruled the winger kicked the puck over Smith's goal line as he battled with Oilers defenceman Cody Ceci.
"I don't think I understand the rule," Coleman said. "My understanding is you can direct the puck, but you just can't kick it. I didn't feel that I kicked it.
"Unfortunate that was such a big part of the game and happened to influence the way it all went down."
With his team trailing 1-0 after a tentative first period, Woodcroft replaced Evander Kane with Hyman on the top line alongside Draisaitl and McDavid early in the second, and it nearly paid off on a couple of good opportunities.
But the Flames, who bested the Oilers by seven points in the regular-season standings, went up 2-0 at 5:41 when Backlund scored his fifth on a deflection.
The Oilers got on the board at 7:40 after Draisaitl found Nurse in the slot for him to fire his second past a screened Markstrom.
Edmonton tied it up just 2:26 later on a 3-on-1 rush when the Calgary goaltender, who was shaky most of the series, could only get a piece of Hyman's shot before Puljujarvi swept home his second as the Oilers erased another multi-goal deficit on the road.
The offensive floodgates then really opened over a wild stretch 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 post-season, on a power play at 14:57 before Gaudreau tied things again at 15:12 with his third.
Jarnkrok then scored his first as a member of the Flames since coming over in a trade with the Seattle Kraken at 15:28 to make it 4-3.
But the Oilers responded again at 16:08 when Bouchard's blast beat Markstrom for his second as the teams set an NHL record for the fastest four goals in playoff history — 22 seconds short of the previous mark set by the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976.
"It was crazy," said Draisaitl. "I've never seen anything like it."
Following a tepid start for both teams inside a nervous Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames nudged in front at 10:13 of the first when Mangiapane took a terrific pass from Coleman to bury his third.
The winger's first point of the series gave his team its first lead since late in the second period of Game 2 — a stretch of exactly 155 minutes — that started a run of three straight losses to push Calgary to the brink of elimination.
And after a wild second period and McDavid's heroics, the Oilers now are moving onto the third round for the first time in a generation.
"To do this against your arch rival and close them out in their building in the fashion that we did, we will enjoy it," Woodcroft said. "We're going to rest up and recuperate.
"Whoever comes out of that other series is going to be a really good opponent."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
As Hurricane Ian rips through Florida, the immense destruction is also being felt by Canadian property owners, also known as snowbirds. For those who rode out the storm, it may be a long wait until they can book a flight home.
Team-based care is more efficient and benefits both patients and surgeons, so it should be widely adopted across surgical specialties, some surgeons say.
'Street shark': Video captured as Hurricane Ian struck Florida shows mystery fish in flooded backyard
Photos and videos of sharks and other marine life swimming in suburban floodwaters make for popular hoaxes during massive storms. But a cellphone video filmed during Hurricane Ian's assault on southwest Florida isn't just another fish story.
Climate change added at least 10 per cent more rain to Hurricane Ian, a study prepared immediately after the storm shows.
Rescue crews piloted boats and waded through inundated streets Thursday to save thousands of Floridians trapped amid flooded homes and shattered buildings left by Hurricane Ian, which crossed into the Atlantic Ocean and churned toward South Carolina.
A Russian oligarch indicted in the United States Thursday for conspiring to circumvent its sanctions regime stands accused of, among other things, having flowers delivered to a former member of Parliament in Canada.
While social workers and psychologists can offer tax-free services, bureaucratic confusion over the titles of counselling therapists and psychotherapists means they are the only mental health professionals who have to charge GST/HST, something a new campaign is looking to change.
Authorities say they are investigating how a convicted bombmaker was able to easily escape from a Nevada prison without anyone noticing for four days, before a tip led to his capture at a transit centre in Las Vegas Wednesday night as he prepared to board a bus out of town.
Why home insurance will get more expensive for all of us and unaffordable for some, according to experts
As extreme weather events such as Hurricane Fiona become more severe and common, experts say that could result in more expensive home insurance in the long term and are calling for a national flood insurance program.
A resident of south Edmonton fought back tears Thursday as he described how he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on a cryptocurrency investment that he is now certain was a scam.
After several years of negotiations, Alberta doctors and the province have reached an agreement.
A group of downtown Edmonton business owners and neighbourhood leaders says the core desperately requires safety solutions, or the area is at risk of permanently losing investment.
An annual event that hopes to inspire young girls to take an interest in aviation has been postponed indefinitely.
An Indigenous mother in B.C. is speaking out after her son’s preschool sent students home with a culturally insensitive craft ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, being marked Friday.
Creative or unrealistic? Ken Sim's ABC party releases full platform, promises to 'rethink the way City Hall is run'
On Thursday, Ken Sim and his ABC party slate of candidates released their full, 94-point platform, saying they will "rethink the way City Hall is run."
Some Maritimers who lost power for days after post-tropical storm Fiona are questioning whether power utilities have properly prepared their grids for the powerful storms that are increasingly battering the region.
'This is our top priority': Nova Scotia Power continues efforts to get the province back online following Fiona
As Nova Scotia continues its clean up and restoration efforts after post-tropical storm Fiona left damage throughout the province, the focus remains on clearing trees and debris and getting the province back online.
Nova Scotians in need of financial aid following post-tropical storm Fiona can now apply for assistance from the provincial government.
Little to no rainfall over the past five weeks in several areas of British Columbia has prompted a warning from the Ministry of Forests about drought. The ministry says Vancouver Island, the inner south coast and the northeast corner of the province have reached the second-most severe level of drought on a five-point rating scale.
Officers with the Saanich Police Department are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing youth. Police are searching for 17-year-old Zenaeh Edwards-Helgason, who was reported missing on Sept. 21 and was last seen on the afternoon of Sept. 24 at Mayfair Shopping Centre.
A man in a wheelchair was airlifted to hospital in Vancouver on Wednesday after he was struck by a pickup truck in Nanaimo, B.C. Mounties are still investigating the cause of the crash near the intersection of Railway Avenue and Fifth Street.
Sunwing flight attendant says she saved passenger's life mid-air as pilot made emergency landing in Toronto
A Sunwing flight attendant saved a passenger's life who went into cardiac arrest as a pilot made an emergency landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport this week.
Toronto city councillor Michael Thompson has been charged with sexual assault, his lawyer has told CP24.
One person has died after a motorcycle and another vehicle collided in Etobicoke.
A 66-year-old Montreal man who is quadriplegic says he is seeking medical assistance in dying because changes to his home care services are causing him relentless pain and discomfort.
Despite his widely denounced comments about immigrants, Quebec Immigration Minister Jean Boulet could keep a seat in cabinet if the Coalition Avenir Quebec is re-elected Monday, leader Francois Legault said Thursday.
Elections Quebec says it is still looking to hire poll workers to fill vacancies in seven ridings across the province, including the Island of Montreal, with just four days left before voting day.
A number of Ottawa homeowners want swift action after they allege a man they hired to perform major heating and cooling work took their money months ago without completing or—in some cases—even starting the jobs.
The president of CHEO says a child waited in the emergency department 32 hours before being admitted this week, as the children's hospital continues to deal with record patient volumes and staffing challenges.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson's office would not return a call from the Parliamentary Protective Service during the height of the "Freedom Convoy," its acting director told a committee Thursday evening.
The Kitchener GO line is being held after a pedestrian was reportedly struck by a train Thursday night.
The trial of former Kitchener neurologist, Jeffrey Sloka, who is facing dozens of sexual assault charges, continued in court Thursday.
A collision on Highway 401 has closed the two left lanes, according to Ontario Provincial Police.
Saskatoon police may have located the remains of a Saskatoon woman who has been missing since September 2020.
A 26-year-old woman injured in a stabbing rampage on James Smith Cree Nation says she doesn’t know why she was attacked.
Woman found dead in Warman home had tape covering her mouth with accused’s finger prints: RCMP witness
Pictures of a woman’s body were projected on a screen at Saskatoon’s Court of King’s Bench on the fourth day of a murder trial.
A protest planned Saturday in Sudbury is related to the situation in Iran, where a young woman died in custody after being arrested by that country's morality police.
Ontario Provincial Police are looking for a suspect who tried to get a student to get in his car this week in East Ferris.
Sault Area Hospital’s cardiac care unit is getting a financial boost from the province.
Winnipeg's leading mayoral candidate is apologizing for his leadership style at a previous job, and denying recent sexual harassment allegations.
Staffing shortages at Winnipeg's emergency rooms and urgent care centres are still translating into longer wait times for emergency care, with nurses being brought in from other departments to help with the workload.
A Winnipeg father who fatally stabbed his three-year-old daughter won’t be eligible for parole for 18 years, a judge ruled Thursday afternoon.
Some former Saskatchewan residents experienced hurricane conditions for the first time in Florida this week.
Effects of residential schools, truth and reconciliation discussed at Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day in Regina
Thousands of students, local leaders and members of the public are packed into Mosaic Stadium for Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day, an event discussing residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders unveiled new orange jerseys the team will wear pre-game to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.