Leon Draisaitl continued his scorching postseason pace and Connor McDavid scored twice for the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win Saturday over the Golden Knights in Las Vegas to tie their playoff series with one win apiece.
The Pacific Division best-of-seven final moves to Edmonton for Monday’s Game 3 and Wednesday’s Game 4. Game 5 takes place Friday in Las Vegas.
Draisaitl scored twice for his 12th and 13th playoff goals this season. Both of McDavid’s goals included a shorthanded goal for Edmonton’s third. The Oilers captain also had an assist for a three-point night.
WATCH | McDavid gives the Oilers a 3-0 lead with an outstanding shorthanded goal:
The single-season playoff goals record is 19, jointly held by Philadelphia Flyer Reggie Leach (1976) and Oiler Jari Kurri (1985). Draisaitl rushes to this mark.
“He’s playing on another level,” McDavid observed. “I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at this point. He’s the best player in the world on many nights. He’s shown that consistently.
“We are here for much more than scoring goals and scoring points. That’s not what it’s about at all. That’s not what we do here. We’re just part of the room. .”
Lucky number 1️⃣3️⃣ for Leon pic.twitter.com/PtGiSn8SuC
Defenseman Evan Bouchard scored a power play goal and two assists for the Oilers, who scored twice with a power play in the first period en route to a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Zach Hyman, who was an effective disruptor in the Vegas crease, had two assists, as did Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Ivan Barbashev scored a third period goal for the Knights, who won Game 1 of the series 6-4.
Vegas starter Laurent Brossoit was replaced by Adin Hill late in the second period on Edmonton’s fifth goal on 26 shots. Hill deflected all four punches he faced in relief.
Oilers continue to produce on the power play
Edmonton went 3 for 6 on the power play and held the Knights scoreless on three power play chances.
The Oilers were 14-for-25 with the powerplay for a 56% success rate in this year’s playoffs.
Drai gets his 12th (!!!) of the playoffs 🤯 pic.twitter.com/vHY8DtxffR
“When teams are unruly and running around, that’s one of the ways we can make them pay,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “One of the ways.
“We were able to come to their team in waves. There was a reason they took the penalties they did because we were playing at a certain pace.”
“We stuck to each other when it was necessary”
With the game slipping away from them in the second period, the Knights aimed to send a message for Game 3.
Evander Kane of Edmonton hit Knights winger Keegan Kolesar multiple times during a second-period scrimmage that produced five minor penalties, two majors and Kane’s misconduct.
Kane and Kolesar got tangled again with just over five minutes left in the third period when Kolesar fouled.
“We get up five nothings and we know they’ll try to run and cause [havoc] and get involved in the game in some way,” Kane said. “I think we did a great job responding there. The guys want to swing their sticks and hit the guys over the top of the head, hopefully someone will take a look.
Knights coach Bruce Cassidy wanted more fire from his team from the start.
“The most disappointing part of the game for me as a head coach,” Cassidy said. “You’re going to have nights where you’re going to be executed by this team. They were more competitive. We sort of got out of the team for lack of a better term. It’s disappointing. Knights.
“We weren’t hard on the puck. The guys we rely on offensively have to understand that.
“If you want to beat a good offensive team, the best scoring team in the league, you have to have the puck. You can’t just hope you’ll defend them all night.
“We’ll play on the power play all night if that’s what they want”
McDavid appeared to check his left ankle or leg after going down near the boards late in the first period.
The NHL’s leading scorer this season did, however, score a power-play goal in the second period, netting a sharp-angled shot into an incredibly small opening at Brossoit’s right post.
McD puts another 🤩 pic.twitter.com/LjDfxaaEwF
“If they want to run and play that kind of game, we’ll play on the power play all night if that’s what they want,” McDavid said. “We’re not going to sit down and take it either.”
The Knights killed the next miner, but Edmonton’s power play had already done some damage. Draisaitl and Bouchard had given the Oilers a 2-0 lead in the seventh minute of the game.
McDavid knocked the puck off Knights defenseman Shea Theodore at the blue line and took it into the Vegas net, where McDavid slipped it under Brossoit’s left pad at 11:11 for his shorthanded goal.
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