Oilers bring down Flames in straight series

CALGARY, Alberta — Zach Hyman scored the go-ahead shorthanded goal midway through the third period, and the Edmonton Oilers rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Friday night, the night of the second-round series at one game apiece .

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid had one goal and one assist to become the fastest active player to have 20 points (six goals, 14 assists in nine games) in a single postseason and the fastest of any player since Mario Lemieux in 1992.

Leon Draisaitl and defender Duncan Keith each had a goal and two assists and Evan Bouchard also scored for Edmonton, who lost 9-6 in Game 1 and were 3-1 down early in Game 2.

Oilers goalie Mike Smith, drawn early in the last game, made 37 saves for the win and assisted on Draisaitl’s insurance goal.

Michael Stone, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Toffoli scored for Calgary. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists and Jacob Markstrom had 35 stops.

The Western Conference best-of-seven semifinals will be played Sunday Game 3 and Tuesday Game 4 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The Oilers went 18-4-2 at home in their last 24 games of the regular season.

Zach Hyman celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the Oilers' 5-3 Game 2 win over the Flames.
Zach Hyman celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the Oilers’ 5-3 Game 2 win over the Flames.
AP

The Alberta rivals are in the playoffs for the sixth time, but for the first time since 1991.

One of the best 5-a-side teams in the NHL, the Flames were down for nearly 11 minutes. Edmonton scored their first power play goal of the series midway through the second half to send the game 3-3 to the third deadlock.

Hyman turned Calgary’s turnover into a breakaway in the offensive zone. He scored the undermanned, tied goal that saw Markstrom move up at 10:14 of the third.

A little over two minutes later, Smith passed the puck to Draisaitl for another breakaway. The forward, playing through a lower body injury, put the puck off the post on Markstrom’s stickside at 12:36 p.m.

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins penalized for a bat at 16:48, the Flames failed to convert a power play into a goal. Calgary went 1-5 man advantage while the Oilers were 1-6.

Two broken Oilers sticks contributed to two goals by the Flames in the first two periods.

Defender Darnell Nurse was deeply hampered without him in the second half, unable to manage exchanges with a striker. Gaudreau threaded a pass from Elias Lindholm into the front circle to turn it to Toffoli, who scored with a power play goal at 2:04 to put Calgary 3-1 up.

Draisaitl’s hit at 2:31 in the second was devalued. Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has successfully challenged goalkeeper interference from McDavid.

However, McDavid scored seconds later to put Edmonton on target. He rolled off Calgary defenseman Nikita Zadorov onto the open ice, took a pass from Keith and hit the puck at 3:05 on Markstrom’s outstretched pad.

Bouchard even pulled the Oilers at 3:03 p.m. while Stone’s double minor for high-sticking. The defenseman wired a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle atop Markstrom.

After Calgary set the record for 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 the puck drop. Hyman broke his stick and couldn’t get another one off the bench before Stone’s slap shot from the top caught Smith on the glove side of the bottom corner.

The Flames made it 2-0 at 6:02 when Smith deflected a shot from Erik Gudbranson. Ritichie pounced on the loose puck in the crease and put a backhand to the Oilers goalie.

Keith halved the deficit at 6:15 in the first. McDavid circled from behind the net, holding Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson back with one arm and holding the puck on his racquet with the other. McDavid scooped a one-handed pass to Keith, who hit Markstrom on the other side.

Hyman celebrated an Oilers goal a little over four minutes from time in the opening period, but the officials passed it up. The whistle blew before the puck crossed the goal line in a scrum.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/nhl-playoffs-2022-oilers-topple-flames-to-even-series/ Oilers bring down Flames in straight series

JOE HERNANDEZ

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