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Oilers rally past Flames 5-3 in Game 2 to even series

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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers are off to a slow start again. This time they quickly returned to normal.

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Zach Hyman scored a shorthanded goal midway through the third period, and the Oilers rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Friday night, ending the second-round streak at one game.

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Edmonton captain Connor McDavid scored a goal and provided an assist to become the fastest active player to score 20 points (six goals, 14 assists in nine games) in a single postseason and the fastest by a player since Mario Lemieux in 1992.

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“He is willing to pay the price to win. He’s focused on winning,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “He influences everyone in our organization with his desire to take his game to the next level. … The way his boyfriend plays now is special. He leads our team forward.”

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

“Losing is not fun, but winning is a lot of fun,” McDavid said. “I thought we fought harder. … Winning some 50-50 goals. We didn’t win much in the first game. I think we have done a good job with this task. I thought we were better defenders. Nevertheless, he missed some chances.

Oilers goaltender Mike Smith, who busted early in the last game, made 37 saves to win and helped Draisaitl score an insurance goal.

Michael Stone, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Toffoli scored for Calgary. Johnny Gaudreau made two passes and Jacob Markstrom saved 35 shots.

The best-of-seven Western Conference Semi-Finals head to Edmonton at Rogers Place for Game 3 on Sunday. The Oilers have gone 18-4-2 at home in their last 24 games of the regular season.

The Flames, one of the best 5-on-5 teams in the NHL, were shorthanded for nearly 11 minutes. Edmonton scored their first powerplay goal midway through the second period to send the game into a third 3–3 stalemate.

“We missed a lot of opportunities,” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter. “Markstrom has been very, very good for us. The individual prowess was what stood out tonight and the situations in which they scored. It’s hard to handle, but some of it isn’t (game) 5v5 either.

“There was a 4-on-4 goal, a 5-on-5 goal, a 5-on-4 goal for us, a shorthanded goal for them. If you don’t play 5 on 5, that’s definitely good for their team.”

Hyman turned Calgary’s loss in the offensive zone into a lead. He scored the decisive shorthanded goal, riding the Markstrom upstairs at 10:14 of the third.

“You just have to keep working,” Hyman said. “This is the playoffs. Irrelevant. All that matters is your victory, right?”

Smith passed the puck to Draisaitl, and just over two minutes later he was back on the lead. The forward, who is playing with a lower body injury, moved the puck from the post to Markstrom’s stick at 12:36.

As Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was penalized for the hook at 16:48, the Flames were unable to turn the powerplay into a goal. The Calgary went 1 of 5 with a man lead while the Oilers were 1 of 6.

Two broken sticks from the Oilers scored a pair of Flames goals in the first two periods.

Defender Darnell Nurse, without his own, was stuck at a low level in the second period and could not cope with the exchange with the forward. Gaudreau passed to Elias Lindholm’s goal, who moved on to Toffoli, who scored a 2:04 powerplay goal to give Calgary a 3-1 lead.

Draisaitl’s goal at 2:31 seconds was canceled as Sutter successfully fought goaltender interference by McDavid.

However, a few seconds later, McDavid landed a shot to equalize with Edmonton to within 3:05.

Bouchard pulled the Oilers even at 3:03 pm during Stone’s double minor for a hi-klook, slapping from the top of the face-off circle on top of Markstrom.

After setting the record for the fastest two goals to start the playoff game in Game 1 of the series with the pair in 51 seconds, Calgary again scored early, 63 seconds after the puck was dropped. Hyman broke his stick and was unable to pick up another from the bench before Stone’s spot hit Smith on the bottom corner of the glove.

The Flames made it 2-0 at 6:02 when Ritichi pounced on a loose puck in the crease and hit Smith’s left.

Keith cut the gap in half with 6:15 left in the first when McDavid made a one-handed pass to Keith, who beat Markstrom on the far side.

Hyman celebrated the Oilers’ goal with just over four minutes left in the first period, but officials called it off. The whistle was blown before the puck crossed the goal line in the scrum.

NO TANEVA AGAIN

The Flames are short of top defenseman Chris Tanev for the third consecutive game. He was injured in Game 6 of the Calgary’s first-round series against Dallas. This week Tanev was skating for practice but didn’t get dressed for the games.

NOTES: Gaudreau extended his playoff points streak to seven consecutive games (two goals, 10 assists) and tied Lanny McDonald (1984) for fifth in Flames history. … McDavid extended his playoff points streak to five straight games. The only other players in NHL history to have five or more multi-point games were Wayne Gretzky (1983), Tony Curry (1981), Darryl Sittler (1977), Evgeni Malkin (2009), and Dale Haverchuk (1993).

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Source: sports.yahoo.com

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