Oilers try to regroup in Game 2 vs. Canucks after blown lead

Hockey fans are eager to see whether the Edmonton Oilers will bounce back or spiral away when they resume their Western Conference semifinal series against the host Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 on Friday.Oilers try to regroup in Game 2 vs. Canucks after blown lead

After blowing a 4-1 lead en route to a 5-4 loss in the series opener on Wednesday, the Oilers have now dropped all five meetings with the Canucks, counting regular season and playoffs.

Regrouping and evening the best-of-seven playoff series before it shifts to Edmonton for the third and fourth clashes is job No. 1 for the Oilers.

“Up until 10 minutes left in the third, I thought we controlled the action,” Edmonton defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. “Sometimes that happens, that’s the emotional ups and downs of the playoffs, they get three quick ones and that’s the game right there. We can be encouraged by the way we played for the first 50 minutes.”

After staking their three-goal edge with a pair of goals 45 seconds apart, the Oilers managed only five shots on goal over the final 26:49, and only four during the third period.

“I don’t think you divide that game into the first half and the second half,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said. “The first half we had a huge lead at 4-1, but do I think we were that much better than them? (Goaltender Stuart Skinner) made some pretty big saves … but five-on-five, I don’t think we were much better than them.

“In the second half, they obviously had a lot more goals than we did, but did I think they were that much better than us in the second half? No. Sometimes that’s the way it works.”

Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who missed eight minutes of the second period but finished the game, did not practice on Thursday. Knoblauch said Draisaitl is day-to-day.

The Canucks certainly had reason to bask in their victory. Nikita Zadorov delivered the tying goal at 13:47 of the third and Conor Garland had the game-winner 39 seconds later to cap a three-goal period.

However, preventing an early deficit that requires such an impressive comeback will be a huge focus when the Canucks hit the ice in front of their frenzied fans.

“It’s obviously a good feeling to come back, but we’re on earth again,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “For me, in playoffs, you get back to earth as soon as possible.

“It was great, but we got a long way to go. The game (Friday) is huge. How do we correct some mistakes and how do we continue some of the stuff we did well?”

Vancouver does have plenty of aspects to build off. The Canucks were especially good at limiting scoring chances for the high-octane Oilers. Case in point is the fact that Edmonton captain Connor McDavid failed to register a shot on goal in a playoff game for the first time in his career. And when the puck was in Vancouver’s zone, the Canucks held strong, blocking pucks before they even reached the net.

Having those elements of the blueprint in place is a good building block for a team that received a huge confidence boost with the come-from-behind victory.

“I think that’s one of the good qualities of our team is that we know that we have depth, and we know that’s a strength that we need to use to our advantage,” said Canucks forward Dakota Joshua, who logged a goal and two assists on Wednesday.

Related Posts

Oilers star center could miss Game 2 vs. Canucks

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said star center Leon Draisaitl could miss Friday night’s Game 2 of the Western Conference second-round playoff series against the Vancouver…

Oilers’ Draisaitl dealt with cramping during Game 1 against Canucks

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports Originally posted on Oilersnation  |  By Zach Laing  |  Last updated 5/9/24 Oilers fans collectively held their breath on Wednesday night during Game…

Canucks use thrilling 3rd-period rally to stun Oilers in Game 1

Nikita Zadorov and Conor Garland scored 39 seconds apart to cap a wild third-period comeback as the host Vancouver Canucks claimed a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton…

Three players the Oilers need to step up against the Canucks

It didn’t take long for the Oilers to roll through the Kings in Round 1. Five games, to be exact. They were led by the usual cast…

Oilers Head Coach confirms last-minute line up change for of game one

The Canucks and the Oilers will be kicking things off in the NHL Playoffs’ second round. Apart from Thatcher Demko, the Canucks will be playing the best…

One prop for both playoff games tonight

We picked up a pair of plus-money winners on Tuesday, a welcome addition to our NHL betting lives. Now, Wednesday brings with it Game 2 in Florida…