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McDavid help Oilers beat Canucks 5-3 to clinch playoff spot

McDavid help Oilers beat Canucks 5-3 to clinch playoff spot

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

Jesse Puljujarvi had a goal and an assist, Tyson Barrie and Dominik Kahun also scored and Leon Draisaitl added two assists for Edmonton in the opener of a four straight games between the teams. Mikko Koskinen stopped 20 shots for his 12th win of the season.

McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 91 points (31 goals, 60 assists).

Nate Schmidt, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks, who lost their fifth straight. Braden Holtby had 27 saves.

The teams meet again Tuesday night in Vancouver, before heading to Edmonton for two.

Edmonton sits second in the North Division, eight points behind Toronto. Vancouver remains at the bottom of the all-Canadian group with nine games to go.

The Oilers held a 4-2 lead heading into the third period and refused to relent. The Canucks had a single shot on goal through the first 15 minutes of the period.

Vancouver pulled Holtby with 3:29 left on the clock and the move immediately paid off as Boeser sent a bullet soaring past Koskinen off a face-off draw. The right wing leads the Canucks in scoring with 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists).

McDavid sealed the score at 5-3, burying an empty-netter with 1:00 to go in the game.

Barrie gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead just 18 seconds into the second period. Holtby stopped a shot from Puljujarvi but couldn’t corral the rebound. Barrie scooped up the puck at the top of the crease and quickly popped it in for his eighth goal of the season.

McDavid picked off a Canucks pass in the neutral zone, skated into Vancouver territory and blasted a shot at Holtby with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the period. The netminder initially seemed to make a glove save, but the puck trickled through and his attempt to dive backward and sweep it off the goal line was unsuccessful.

Just 41 seconds later, Vancouver pulled to 3-2 when Miller tucked a backhanded shot under Koskinen’s outstretched glove from the top of the crease. It was Miller's 12th.

Kahun closed out the second period with a blast past Holtby, making it 4-2 for Edmonton with 44.1 seconds left on the clock.

The Oilers got an early lead after McDavid sent a slick pass to Puljujarvi across the slot. The Finnish forward fired a one timer past Holtby from the right face-off circle to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead 3:45 into the game. It was Puljujarvi’s 13th goal.

The Canucks tied it before the end of the first, thanks to Schmidt’s fifth goal of the season. The defenseman took advantage of a net-front screen by rookie Nils Hoglander and rifled a shot from the top of the left face-off circle, beating Koskinen on his blocker side.

ROSTER MOVES

The Canucks recalled D Jack Rathbone and C Tyler Graovac from the taxi squad earlier on Monday, moves aimed at filling spots on a team that’s been rocked by injuries.

C Brandon Sutter (upper body) was the latest Vancouver player to go down with an injury, joining forwards Tyler Motte, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Elias Pettersson who were already out with various ailments.

The team also placed right-winger Jake Virtanen on leave on Saturday amid an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

MILESTONE

Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse played his 400th NHL game.


Updated : 2021-05-07 16:33 GMT+08:00