VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Connor McDavid had two objectives and two assists because the Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday evening.
Jesse Puljujarvi had a objective and an help, Tyson Barrie and Dominik Kahun additionally scored and Leon Draisaitl added two assists for Edmonton within the opener of a 4 straight video games between the groups. Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 photographs for his twelfth win of the season.
“Your first objective each season is to play within the playoffs. That’s the 1st step and we’ve been ready to do this,” McDavid mentioned. “Now we simply have to proceed engaged on our sport and take note of particulars and prepare for the playoffs.”
Edmonton sits second within the North Division, eight factors behind Toronto. Vancouver stays on the backside of the all-Canadian group with 9 video games to go.
Final 12 months, the Chicago Blackhawks bounced the Oilers from the playoffs in a five-game play-in spherical sequence. It’s an expertise that’s motivated the squad this 12 months, McDavid mentioned.
“Everybody left the bubble in a foul temper. Nobody felt nice about the place we have been at, how that sequence went,” he mentioned.
This season, everybody within the locker room has finished a great job of shopping for in and believing, he added, and on the ice, they’ve discovered methods to maintain pucks out of the online.
“And offensively, I’ve been fairly good,” mentioned McDavid, who leads the NHL in scoring with 91 factors (31 objectives, 60 assists). “So I believe that’s a recipe for a playoff crew. And now it’s as much as us to verify we’re able to go for Sport One.”
Nate Schmidt, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks, who misplaced their fifth straight. Braden Holtby had 27 saves.
“Clearly their high line was a giant issue within the sport,” Vancouver coach Travis Inexperienced mentioned. “We made a pair errors on a few their objectives however you’re gonna make errors and so they made us pay. I assumed we had one line that had a very sturdy sport, a pair strains that labored extraordinarily arduous, and didn’t get rewarded, and we tried to push on the finish.”
The groups meet once more Tuesday evening in Vancouver, earlier than heading to Edmonton for 2.
The Oilers held a 4-2 lead heading into the third interval and refused to relent. The Canucks had a single shot on objective via the primary quarter-hour of the interval.
Vancouver pulled Holtby with 3:29 left on the clock and the transfer instantly paid off as Boeser despatched a bullet hovering previous Koskinen off a face-off draw. The correct wing leads the Canucks in scoring with 38 factors (18 objectives, 20 assists).
McDavid sealed the rating at 5-3, burying an empty-netter with 1:00 to go within the sport.
Oilers coach Dave Tippett favored the way in which his group held on for the win.
“I assumed we have been fairly strong. We weren’t giving up rather a lot,” he mentioned. “Now we have to proceed to enhance in that space. It’s not simply checking. It’s our play with out the puck but additionally our play with the puck, the flexibility to make good performs, not flip the puck over on the mistaken locations on the ice and play within the offensive zone.”
Barrie gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead simply 18 seconds into the second interval. Holtby stopped a shot from Puljujarvi however couldn’t corral the rebound. Barrie scooped up the puck on the high of the crease and shortly popped it in for his eighth objective of the season.
McDavid picked off a Canucks cross within the impartial zone, skated into Vancouver territory and blasted a shot at Holtby with about 3 1/2 minutes left within the interval. The netminder initially appeared to make a glove save, however the puck trickled via and his try to dive backward and sweep it off the objective line was unsuccessful.
Simply 41 seconds later, Vancouver pulled to 3-2 when Miller tucked a backhanded shot below Koskinen’s outstretched glove from the highest of the crease. It was Miller’s twelfth.
Kahun closed out the second interval with a blast previous Holtby, making it 4-2 for Edmonton with 44.1 seconds left on the clock.
The Oilers obtained an early lead after McDavid despatched a slick cross to Puljujarvi throughout the slot. The Finnish ahead fired a one timer previous Holtby from the proper face-off circle to provide Edmonton a 1-0 lead 3:45 into the sport. It was Puljujarvi’s thirteenth objective.
The Canucks tied it earlier than the top of the primary, because of Schmidt’s fifth objective of the season. The defenseman took benefit of a net-front display by rookie Nils Hoglander and rifled a shot from the highest of the left face-off circle, beating Koskinen on his blocker aspect.
The Canucks recalled D Jack Rathbone and C Tyler Graovac from the taxi squad earlier on Monday, strikes aimed toward filling spots on a crew that’s been rocked by accidents.
C Brandon Sutter (higher physique) was the newest Vancouver participant to go down with an damage, becoming a member of forwards Tyler Motte, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Elias Pettersson who have been already out with varied illnesses.
The crew additionally positioned right-winger Jake Virtanen on depart on Saturday amid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse performed his four-hundredth NHL sport.