Edmonton Oilers douse Calgary Flames 5-Three to even playoff sequence 1-1

CALGARY — The Edmonton Oilers overcame a pair of disallowed goals and two broken sticks the Calgary Flames converted into goals to win 5-3 and even their playoff series at one victory apiece Friday.

Zach Hyman scored the winning goal shorthanded in the third period.

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid’s goal and assist Friday made him the fastest active player to reach 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in a single post-season, and fastest among any player since Mario Lemieux in 1992.

“He’s willing to pay a price to win. He’s driven to win,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “He has an effect on everybody in our organization with that desire to take his game to the next level.

“The way his guy is playing right now, it’s special. He’s driving our team forward.”

Leon Draisaitl and defenseman Duncan Keith each had a goal and two assists and Evan Bouchard also scored for Edmonton.

After he was pulled early Calgary’s 9-6 win in Game 1, Oilers goaltender Mike Smith made 37 saves and assisted on Draisaitl’s insurance goal.

“Losses are no fun and wins are lots of fun,” McDavid said. “I thought we battled harder.

“Winning some 50-50 pucks. We didn’t win many in Game 1. I thought we did a good job of that. I thought we defended better. Still gave up some chances. Smitty played well.”

Michael Stone, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Toffoli scored for Calgary, which led 3-1 early in the second period.

Johnny Gaudreau had two assists. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 35 shots in the loss.

The best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal heads to Edmonton’s Rogers Place for Sunday’s Game 3 and Tuesday’s Game 4. The Oilers went 18-4-2 at Rogers Place over their final 24 games of the regular season.

Calgary (50-21-11) topped the Pacific Division ahead of runner-up Edmonton (49-27-6) in the regular season. The Alberta rivals are squaring off in the playoffs for a sixth time, but the first since 1991.

One of the NHL’s top teams five-on-five, the Flames were shorthanded for almost 11 minutes Friday. Edmonton scored its first power-play goal of the series midway through the second period to send the game into the third deadlocked 3-3.

“We missed a lot of opportunities,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “Markstrom was really, really good for us. Individual skill was what stood out tonight, and situations that they scored on. That’s hard to handle, but some of that is also not (playing) five-on-five.

“There was a four-on-four goal, a five-on-four goal, a five-on-four goal for us, shorthanded goal for them. If you’re not playing five-on-five, that’s definitely to their team’s advantage.”

Calgary’s offensive-zone turnover with a man-advantage turned into a short-handed chance for Hyman in the third period.

After breaking his stick on Calgary’s first goal and having one of his own disallowed in the second, Hyman went upstairs on Markstrom at 10:14 for the game-winner.

“You’ve just got to keep working,” Hyman said. “It’s the playoffs. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is you get the win, right?”

Smith head-manned the puck to Draisaitl, who is playing through a lower-body injury, to score the insurance goal on another breakaway at 12:36.

Broken Oiler sticks contributed to a Flames goals in the first and second periods. Defenseman Darnell Nurse was hampered without his deep in Edmonton’s zone in the second.

Gaudreau threaded a pass to the crease for Elias Lindholm to flip to Toffoli, whose power-play goal at 2:04 gave Calgary a 3-1 lead.

Draisaitl’s goal at 2:31 of the second was waived off. Flames head coach Darryl Sutter successfully challenged goaltender interference by McDavid.

But McDavid scored a four-on-four goal seconds later to draw Edmonton within one.

He rolled off Calgary defenseman Nikita Zadorov into open ice, took a pass from Keith and stickhandled the puck by Markstrom’s outstretched pad at 3:05.

Bouchard pulled the Oilers even at 15:03 during Stone’s double minor for high-sticking.

After setting the record for the fastest two goals to start a playoff game in the series opener with a pair within 51 seconds, Calgary struck early again, 63 seconds after puck drop.

Edmonton, and Smith, recovered their composition faster than in Game 1, however.

Hyman celebrated a goal with just over four minutes left in the opening period, but officials waived it off. The whistle blew before the puck crossed the goal-line in a crease scramble.

Keith halved a two-goal deficit at 13:45. McDavid circling out from behind the net held off Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson with one arm and held the puck on his stick with the other.

McDavid shoveled a one-handed pass to Keith, who beat Markstrom far side.

The hosts led 2-0 at 6:02 when Smith bobbled an Erik Gudbranson shot. Ritchie pounced on the loose puck in the crease and put a backhand by the Oilers’ goalie.

Hyman broke his stick and wasn’t able to retrieve another from the bench before Stone’s slapshot from the point beat Smith bottom corner glove side at 1:03.

The Flames were minus top shutdown defenseman Chris Tanev for a third straight game. He was injured in Game 6 of Calgary’s first-round series against Dallas. Tanev skated in practice this week, but hasn’t dressed for games.

Calgary went 1-for-5 with a man advantage in the game, while the Oilers were 1-for-6.

Notes: Gaudreau extended his playoff point streak to seven consecutive games (two goals, 10 assists) and tied Lanny McDonald (1984) for the fifth-longest in Flames history. . . McDavid stretched his playoff multi-point streak to five straight games. The only other players in NHL history with a run of five or more multi-point games were Wayne Gretzky (1983), Tony Currie (1981), Darryl Sittler (1977), Evgeni Malkin (2009) and Dale Hawerchuk (1993) . . . Keith became the oldest Oiler to score a playoff goal at 38 years, 308 days.

– With files from Joshua Clipperton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2022.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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