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HomeSportsHockeyNHL News: Canucks use thrilling 3rd-period rally to stun Oilers in Game...

NHL News: Canucks use thrilling 3rd-period rally to stun Oilers in Game 1

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Nikita Zadorov and Conor Garland scored 39 seconds apart to cap a wild third-period comeback as the host Vancouver Canucks claimed a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

The Canucks trailed 4-1 late in the second period before netting the contest’s final four goals.

“We’ve had a lot of confidence in our group and I thought we played pretty well in the first (period),” Garland said. “They’re one of the best teams in the league for a reason, they can get the lead on you and can score in so many different ways, so we were pretty composed and knew if we could keep pushing, get one and see where it takes us.”

Dakota Joshua scored once in a three-point game while Zadorov and Elias Lindholm each produced one goal and one assist for the Canucks. J.T. Miller added a goal in the win. Carson Soucy notched two assists, and goaltender Arturs Silovs stopped 14 shots.

Vancouver also won all four regular-season meetings between the Pacific Division rivals.

Zach Hyman scored twice for the Oilers. Mattias Ekholm and Cody Ceci also scored. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected two assists apiece, and goalie Stuart Skinner made 19 saves.

Edmonton star Connor McDavid, who had one assist, was held without a shot on net for the first time in his 55 career postseason games.

“They’re a good team and they were doing everything they could to come back and we were doing everything we could to hold on to the lead,” McDavid said. “That happens in the playoffs. You try to hold on to leads and sometimes you’re maybe too passive. I thought we were doing a good job of holding the lead and they found a way.

“Overall, I didn’t mind our game.”

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday in Vancouver.

With his team trailing 4-1, Lindholm scored his third goal of the playoffs with 2:59 remaining in the second period to ignite the comeback. He put the puck to the front of the net and it banked into the cage off Skinner’s stick.

Miller recorded his second goal of the postseason at 9:38 of the third period by neatly redirecting a shot into the cage to trim the Canucks’ deficit to 4-3. Zadorov tied the score at 13:47 with a blistering one-timer from beyond the left circle for his third of the playoffs.

Less than a minute later, Garland scored the winning goal when he slipped a five-hole shot while holding off a check for his first of the playoffs.

“I thought we definitely gave them this one, but we know that it’s going to be a long series,” Skinner said. “You’ve got to win four. They’re up one. We know we can beat these guys.”

The Oilers pushed feverishly to tie the clash but managed only four shots on goal in the third period in a game they controlled.

“I think we dominated the second period and the third,” Silovs said. “We didn’t give them anything in the third. We managed to capitalize and that was the most important.”

Hyman sent Edmonton off and running when he opened the scoring just 2:11 into the game on a power play. Ekholm doubled the lead at 15:01 of the first period by blasting a shot for his first goal of the playoffs.

Joshua’s third goal of the playoffs 53 seconds into the second period put Vancouver on the board. Ceci restored Edmonton’s two-goal edge at 12:26 of the period when he unloaded a one-timer during an odd-man rush. Hyman pushed the Oilers’ lead to 4-1 by scoring his second of the night, and ninth of the playoffs, 45 seconds later.

–Field Level Media

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