J.T. Miller's late tally lifts Canucks to 3-2 edge on Oilers

League: NHL

Posted on: 17 May, 2024 at 05:43 AM

Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Miller scored the tiebreaking goal with 32.6 seconds remaining to give the host Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 comeback victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and put them one win away from reaching the Western Conference finals.

Carson Soucy and Phillip Di Giuseppe also scored for the Canucks, who lead the best-of-seven conference semifinal set 3-2. Vancouver goaltender Arturs Silovs stopped 21 shots.

The Canucks will try to close out the series on Saturday in Edmonton.

With overtime looming, the Canucks rushed up ice in a last-ditch attempt to claim victory. Elias Lindholm's sharp-angled shot ricocheted off the skate of teammate Elias Pettersson and rang off the post, and Miller was on the spot to bury the loose puck for his third goal of the playoffs.

"I thought we deserved to win the game," Miller told Sportsnet. "I thought once we got our legs under us after the first (period), we really played well. The second period was our best period at home in a while. We carried that into the third period, and it was just a matter of time. Sometimes it takes awhile for them to go in."

Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark scored for the Oilers, who twice surrendered leads in the clash. Goalie Calvin Pickard stopped 32 shots.

The finish, two nights after the Oilers won Game 4 with a final-minute goal, capped a back-and-forth game.

"We know anything can happen late, we've seen it multiple times these playoffs," Soucy said.

Kane's third goal of the playoffs opened the scoring at 4:34 of the clash. Leon Draisaitl fed a pass from behind net to Kane at bottom of left circle, and Kane converted a quick shot. The Oilers have scored first in all but one game of the series, three times in the opening six minutes.

"They got a bounce and they deserved a bounce. I thought they were the better team," said the Oilers' Connor McDavid, who has managed only one point, an assist, in the past three games.

"We got off to a great start and didn't capitalize good enough in the first period," McDavid added. "We were really good in the first period, generating chances, generating power plays, and we didn't do enough capitalizing."

With his assist, Draisaitl is riding a 10-game point streak to start the playoffs. The only previous Edmonton players to begin a postseason campaign with a streak at least that long were Mark Messier (14 games in 1988) and Wayne Gretzky (10 games in 1986). Draisaitl has collected 21 points in the postseason (eight goals, 13 assists).

Soucy, who returned from serving a one-game suspension in Game 4, tied the clash at 17:27 of the opening period. He fired a perfect glove-side shot from the top of the left circle for his first of the playoffs.

Janmark replied with his first of the playoffs 23 seconds later, burying the cross-ice feed from Connor Brown on an odd-man rush.

Di Giuseppe again pulled the Canucks even at 5:14 of the second period. Nils Aman created a turnover by Edmonton's Evan Bouchard, and Di Giuseppe converted for his first career playoff goal.

The 35 shots on goal Vancouver registered, including 17 in the second period when they took over the momentum, were the most the Canucks have registered in a game during this year's playoffs.

--Field Level Media