The Edmonton Oiler defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 to move on to the Western Conference final

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Players congratulates eachother after the match

The Edmonton Oilers are proving they can score even without relying solely on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

In a crucial Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal and helped set up another as Edmonton secured a 3-2 victory. Zach Hyman and Cody Ceci also contributed goals, with Evan Bouchard providing two assists. Stuart Skinner made 15 saves to help seal the win.

Nugent-Hopkins emphasized the team effort, saying, “It takes every single guy in here,” expressing pride in the collective achievement.

While Draisaitl and McDavid have been standout performers in the playoffs, with Draisaitl leading in points and McDavid close behind, it was Bouchard who led all defensemen in points. Despite the Canucks managing to keep McDavid off the scoresheet for the third time in seven games and limiting Draisaitl to just one assist, Edmonton emerged victorious.

This win propels Edmonton to the conference finals for the second time in three years, where they will face Dallas in Game 1 on Thursday. In the third period, Conor Garland and Filip Hronek scored for Vancouver, with Arturs Silovs making 26 saves.

The Canucks faced lineup changes due to Brock Boeser’s absence due to a reported blood-clotting issue, with Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev returning after a two-game absence, while Vasily Podkolzin was scratched.

Edmonton Oilers players celebrates in the game

Coaching in his first Stanley Cup playoffs, the Oilers’ Kris Knoblauch praised Nugent-Hopkins and the bottom-six forwards for successfully killing a four-minute penalty on Ryan McLeod late in the first period.

“We played, I thought, really well,” Knoblauch said about the team’s first-period effort, where Edmonton outshot Vancouver 13-2. “That could be a turning point in the game, but our penalty kill, as it has been for almost all the playoffs, has been really solid.”

Silovs was impressive in the first period, stopping all 13 shots he faced. Ceci started the scoring on his team’s first shot of the second period with a slap shot from the right point that beat Silovs high to the glove side at 1:16.

The Oilers then went on their first power play, and Hyman scored his playoff-leading 11th goal by tipping Bouchard’s point shot to Silovs’ stick side at 5:20.

Nugent-Hopkins made it 3-0 with a sharp-angle shot with 4:38 left. It was Edmonton’s first power-play goal in three games. The Canucks struggled to create dangerous scoring chances for the first 52 minutes until Garland’s unassisted slot shot with 8:23 left in the third gave the team and its fans hope.

Stuart Skinner stretches to save the puck

Hronek brought Vancouver within one goal with 4:36 left to play, and the Canucks kept up the pressure until the final buzzer.

“For the most part, I thought we played really well,” said Draisaitl, who famously called the 2023-24 season a ‘Cup or Bust’ season after the Oilers were knocked out in the second round of the 2023 playoffs. “Would we like to keep it a little less stressful? Yes, probably.”

Vancouver went 0 for 3 on the power play, while Edmonton was 1 for 2. The Oilers had a strong penalty kill, going 20 for 23 in the series.

After allowing one goal on 15 shots in Edmonton’s Game 6 win, Skinner faced just 17 shots in Game 7, with only five in the third period. But that didn’t make it an easy night.

Edmonton Oilers players celebrates the goal

“They were able to make plays, but just weren’t able to get shots on net,” Skinner said. “I was working really hard, believe it or not. But I just didn’t get a ton of shots, which is a credit to the guys in front.”

The Oilers improved to 8-4 all-time in Game 7s, while the Canucks fell to 6-7. This was the Canucks’ first playoff appearance in front of fans since 2015. Despite losing Vezina Trophy nominee Thatcher Demko to injury after the first game of the first round, the Canucks advanced for the first time since the 2020 playoff bubble.

After the game, Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet highlighted the progress his team has made since he took over in January 2023. “They put respect back to that jersey and into this city,” he said. “Fans have got something to be proud of.”


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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