McDavid, Draisaitl each score twice as Oilers dominate Golden Knights to even series
Leon Draisaitl continued his torrid playoff scoring pace and Connor McDavid scored twice for the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-1 win over the Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Saturday, tying their playoff streak at one each.
The best-of-seven Pacific Division will travel to Edmonton for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Wednesday. Game 5 is Friday in Las Vegas.
Draisaitl scored twice for his NHL-leading 12th and 13th playoff goals of the season. McDavid’s two goals included a short one for Edmonton’s third goal. The Oilers captain also had an assist on a three-point night.
WATCH |: McDavid gives the Oilers a 3-0 lead with a goal.
The record for playoff goals in a season is 19, shared by Philadelphia Flyer Reggie Leach (1976) and Oiler Curry (1985). Draisaitl runs to that marker.
“He’s playing at a different level,” McDavid observed. “I’m not sure why anyone would be surprised at this point. He’s the best player in the world most nights. He has shown this on a regular basis.
“We are here for much more than scoring goals and scoring points. It’s not about that at all. That’s not what we do here. We’re just part of the game.”
Lucky number 1️⃣3️⃣ for Leon pic.twitter.com/PtGiSn8SuC
Defenseman Evan Bouchard scored a power-play goal and assisted on two more for the Oilers, who scored twice on the man advantage 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 closed out the series opener 6-4.
Vegas starter Laurent Brossoy was replaced with Adin Hill in the second period after Edmonton’s fifth goal with 26 shots. Hill deflected all four shots she faced in relief.
The Oilers continue to produce on the power play
Edmonton went 3-for-6 on the man advantage and held the Knights scoreless on three power play opportunities.
The Oilers were 14-for-25 in this year’s playoffs with a 56 percent success rate on the man advantage.
Dry gets his 12th (!!!) in the playoffs 🤯 pic.twitter.com/vHY8DtxffR
“When teams aren’t disciplined and run, that’s one of the ways we can make them pay,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “One of the roads.
“We were able to come in waves on their team. There was a reason they took the penalties because we were playing at a certain tempo.”
“We stayed true to each other when we had to”
With the game slipping away from them in the second period, the Knights aimed to send a message for Game 3.
Edmonton’s Evander Kane punched Knights winger Keegan Kolesar multiple times during a second-period fight that resulted in five minor penalties, two majors and a misconduct for Kane.
Kane and Kolesar tangled again with just over five minutes left in the third period when Kolesar fouled out.
“We get five noughts and we know they’re going to try to run and generate [havoc] and get involved in the game somehow,” Kane said. “I thought we did a great job responding there. Guys want to swing their sticks and hit guys in the head, I hope someone looks into it.
Knights coach Bruce Cassidy initially wanted more fire out of his team.
“The most disappointing part of the game for me as a head coach,” Cassidy said. “You’re going to have nights that you’re going to get out of this team. They were more competitive. We kind of fell out of the team for lack of a better term. It’s disappointing. That should never happen to Vegas Golden. Knights.
“We weren’t hard to attack. The guys we attack need to understand that.
“If you’re going to beat a good offensively oriented team, the highest scoring team in the league, you’ve got to have good power. You can’t just hope you’re fending them off all night.”
“We’ll power play all night if that’s what they want.”
McDavid appeared to be checking his left ankle or foot after going down near the boards late in the first period.
The NHL’s leading scorer this season scored a power-play goal in the second period, but sent a sharp corner kick through the impossibly small gap of Brossoit’s right post.
McD is different 🤩 pic.twitter.com/LjDfxaaEwF
“If they want to run and play that type 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 back and take it either.”
The Knights killed the ensuing minor, but Edmonton’s power play had already done the damage. Drazeitl and Bouchard gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead seven minutes into the game.
McDavid knocked the puck away from Knights defenseman Shea Theodore near the blue line and took it to the Vegas net, where McDavid tucked it under Brossoit’s left court for his shorthanded goal at 11:11.
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