Skinner ‘great’ in return as Oilers force Game 7


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EDMONTON, Alberta — Evan Bouchard and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and two assists, Connor McDavid added three assists and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Saturday night to avoid elimination and force a deciding Game 7 in their second-round playoff series.

Dylan Holloway, Zach Hyman and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers, and Stuart Skinner stopped 14 shots.

Nils Hoglander scored for Vancouver, which is trying to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011. Arturs Silovs finished with 22 saves.

Game 7 is Monday night in Vancouver, with the winner advancing to face Dallas in the Western Conference finals.

Edmonton started the scoring at 8:18 of the first period as Leon Draisaitl fed the puck to Holloway and he danced through the defense before tucking it between Silovs’ legs for his third of the playoffs. Draisaitl has picked up at least one point in all 11 playoff games this season.

Less than two minutes later, the Canucks evened it up as Elias Pettersson sent a pass from behind the net out front to Hoglander, who snuck his first of the playoffs past Skinner just past the midpoint of the period.

The Oilers looked to have scored with 1 second remaining in the first on a point shot from Bouchard, but the goal was called off due to McDavid making incidental contact with Silovs.

The shots were just 4-4 through the first 20 minutes.

Edmonton went ahead for good at 7:14 of the second as McDavid spotted Hyman in the slot and his shot deflected and bounced up and over Silovs and into the Vancouver net for his 10th of the playoffs. McDavid came into the game having recorded only one assist in his previous three games combined.

McDavid picked up another assist with 8:40 to play in the second as Bouchard scored his fifth goal and 17th point of the postseason on a long shot from the point. The Oilers’ captain became just the 10th player in NHL history to record 20 playoff points in three consecutive seasons with his second assist.

Edmonton outshot Vancouver 14-5 in the second.

The Oilers made it 4-1 just 3:25 into the third period as McDavid picked up his third assist, sending a backhand pass to a hard-charging Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his third of the playoffs.

Edmonton put the game away with just under 7 minutes left as the draw came back to Kane and he unleashed a wicked wrister for his fourth of the postseason.

Skinner returned in goal for the Oilers after Calvin Pickard started the previous two games.

Draisaitl became just the fourth player in NHL history to record 60 assists in 60 playoff games and the third in league history to get to 100 points — behind Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

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