Canada News

Get the latest new in Candada


Oilers secure 5th straight post-season berth and Maple Leafs for 8th year in a row

The Edmonton Oilers punched their way into the post-season with authority on Friday night.

Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each scored a pair of goals as the Oilers clinched a playoff spot with a 6-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

Edmonton was 10 points out of a playoff spot in late November.

“Things weren’t looking great, but we had the belief that we could turn it around and we did that,” said Kane. “It’s a nice feeling.”

Corey Perry and Mattias Ekholm also scored for the Oilers (46-24-5), who ended a two-game losing skid and improved to 9-0-1 in their last 10 games at home.

The Oilers were looking for a strong showing after a poor performance in their last outing, a listless 5-0 loss in Dallas on Wednesday.

“Much needed. Not the team or the game that we are, or we want to show, on a daily basis,” said Oilers assistant captain Leon Draisaitl, who had two assists.

“The most important thing is how you respond, and that’s something over the last couple years, including the playoffs, that this team does really, really well. Respond to poor efforts or bad games.”

Jonathan Drouin and Ross Colton replied for the Avalanche (48-23-6), who have lost four of their last six.

Avalanche lose Rantanen to injury

“We just weren’t good enough,” said Colorado head coach Jared Bednar. “It happens every once in a while, it happened tonight. They were twice as good as us, with twice as many shots, more than twice as many goals.”

The Oilers outshot Colorado 46-23.

The Avalanche had some cause for concern early in the second period as Ekholm hit Mikko Rantanen hard along the boards. The Colorado forward, who has 102 points this season, left the game looking wobbly and did not return.

“All I saw was one quick replay,” Bednar said. “He clearly catches him high, he catches his head. My first look at the replay didn’t look like it was intentional, it just kind of caught him wrong.”

Toronto, which didn’t play Friday, received help from teams in the Eastern Conference wild-card race as the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings lost in regulation to help the Maple Leafs clinch a playoff spot.

Toronto will pursue its first Stanley Cup title since 1967, the longest drought in NHL history.

The Boston Bruins or Florida Panthers are the Leafs’ most likely Round 1 opponent.

Right-winger Mitch Marner is expected to return from a 12-game absence when Toronto faces the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday night.

View original article here Source