McDavid Leads Oilers Past Stars in Game 1 of Western Conference Final

The Hockey Writers

The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 in double overtime to take the first game of their Western Conference Final series. Connor McDavid provided the heroics with his third of the playoffs.

After a scoreless first that saw the Stars outshoot the Oilers 7-3, Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring 58 seconds into the second with his ninth of the playoffs. With it, he extended his point streak to 13 games and became the fifth player in NHL history to record a postseason-opening point streak of 13-plus games.

Then, at 4:17, after a great save by Stuart Skinner, McDavid and Zach Hyman broke out on a 2-on-1 with McDavid leading the way. McDavid tried a backhand pass to Hyman for a one-timer, but a quick stick from veteran Chris Tanev broke it up. Unfortunately for the Stars, he only tipped it. Hyman regained possession, made a quick deke and wristed it past Jake Oettinger for the 2-0 lead.

The Stars got it back less than two minutes later when Brett Kulak flubbed a pass to his defence partner and turned it over to Jamie Benn. Benn then shoveled the puck through the crease and Tyler Seguin finished it off for his fourth of the playoffs.

The 2-1 score stood until late in the third period when Seguin double-dipped for his second of the night after a deflection off Darnell Nurse left him staring at a wide-open net. He was left uncovered by Vincent Desharnais, all he had to do was wrist it in to tie the game at two and send Game 1 into overtime.

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Hub

The game could have been over early in the extra frame, but the Oilers’ penalty kill came up huge again for the second straight game, killing a double-minor – this time by McDavid. Some great saves by Skinner, along with key blocks and clears pushed the Oilers through the four minutes and their fifth kill of the night. They have now killed 35 of 38 penalties this postseason for a 92.1 percent success rate.

It remained scoreless through the first overtime as both goaltenders would not allow the game to be finished with Skinner and Oettinger making several show-stopping saves – none better than Oettinger/Tanev’s stick save on McDavid.

But less than a minute into the second overtime, McDavid got the puck behind Oettinger off a deflection after some solid work from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evan Bouchard to make up for the miss.

Both goaltenders had solid outings as Oettinger finished with 35 saves while Skinner at the other end countered with 31.

Game Notes

Nine of the Stars’ 11 games in the conference finals since 2020 have been either a shutout (four GP; 1-3) or have required overtime (five GP; 3-2).

Draisaitl scored his 40th career playoff goal. He became the seventh player in NHL history to reach the mark in 62 or fewer games. The others: Mario Lemieux (46 GP), Brett Hull (54 GP), Maurice Richard (54 GP), Wayne Gretzky (56 GP), Jari Kurri (58 GP) and Mike Bossy (59 GP).

McDavid recorded 20 assists in a playoff year for the second time in his career (also 23 in 2022). He joined Gretzky (six), Nikita Kucherov (two), Doug Gilmour (two) and Mark Messier (two) as the fifth player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to accomplish the feat multiple times.

Seguin became the seventh player in NHL history to score a goal in the conference finals/semifinals as a teenager and at age 30 or older, following Dainius Zubrus (1997 to 2016), Brendan Shanahan (1988 to 2002), Eric Desjardins (1989 to 2000), Bryan Trottier (1976 to 1992), Ted Lindsay (1945 to 1965) and Hec Kilrea (1927 to 1939).

The two teams will meet again on Saturday, May 25, at American Airlines Center.

Substack Subscribe to the THW Daily and never miss the best of The Hockey Writers Banner
PHP Code Snippets Powered By :