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Oilers hold off Canucks in Game 7, advance to Western Final


Oilers hold off Canucks in Game 7, advance to Western Final

Zach Hyman scored his NHL-leading 11th goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Leon Draisaitl had an assist to extend his postseason-opening point streak to 12 games for Edmonton, which is the No. 2 seed from the Pacific Division. Stuart Skinner made 15 saves, and Evan Bouchard had two assists.

“It’s exciting to beat a great Vancouver team,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “They’re a really great team. It wasn’t too long ago, a couple of months ago, we were sitting here doing an interview talking about losing 8-1 (in the season opener). They had our number and it feels good to come out on top. It was a tight series, a passionate series, both fan bases going crazy. It’s fun to come out on top.”

The Oilers will play the Dallas Stars, who eliminated the Colorado Avalanche in six games, in the Western Conference Final. Game 1 of that best-of-7 series will be in Dallas on Thursday.

“They’re a great team, too,” McDavid said. “It’s the conference finals, you’re going to have to play a great team, and they certainly are. They’re deep, they’re as deep a team as you’re going to find in the NHL. Four lines, six [defensemen], they got a great goaltender. It will be a great test, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Conor Garland and Filip Hronek scored in the third period, and Arturs Silovs made 26 saves for Vancouver, which was the No. 1 seed from the Pacific. Forward Brock Boeser, who led the Canucks with seven goals this postseason, did not play because of an undisclosed injury.

“This team brought respect back to this city and this jersey, let’s face it,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “There’s no quit in this team. I’m really proud of the guys.”

Edmonton outshot Vancouver 13-2 in the first period but couldn’t solve Silovs. He did a full split to make a blocker save on Brett Kulak’s rebound attempt at 1:26, stopped Hyman on partial breakaway at 4:54, and denied Connor Brown on a short-handed breakaway with 41 seconds left in the period.

“‘Arty’ played his [butt] off for us,” Tocchet said. “What a playoff for that kid and his growth, so there’s a lot of positives out of that.”

The Canucks failed to generate a shot on goal during a four-minute power play late in the first period that extended into the second for 14 seconds. The Oilers then broke the ice a little more than a minute later.

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