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Oilers win Game 7 over Canucks, advance to Western Conference Finals

You couldn’t ask for more drama: Game 7 with two western Canadian teams in a do-or-die playoff game in a series in which neither side won consecutive games.

Until Monday night.

That’s when the Edmonton Oilers weathered a late Vancouver Canucks charge, beating the hosts 3-2 to win their seven-game second-round playoff series in the decisive showdown.

Down three games to two following a close Game 5 dominated by the Canucks, the Oilers turned the table in Game 6, winning it in convincing fashion 5-1 on Saturday before taking the final game.

Cocy Ceci opened the scoring after his point shot fooled Canucks goalie Arturs Silovs 1:16 into the second period, a minute after the Oilers had killed off a four-minute minor penalty to Ryan McLeod lare in the first period for high-sticking Elias Pettersson.

The goal came shortly after an offensive zone faceoff following an icing call on the Canucks.

Zach Hyman’s recorded the Oilers’ second goal at 5:50 of the middle frame, tipping in defenceman Evan Bouchard’s high shot from the point.

After managing just five shots on Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner over the first 30 minutes of the game, the Canucks started to keep the puck in the Oilers’ end for longer periods of time, doubling the shot total and generating 13 scoring chances before Edmonton struck again late in the frame on the power play.

With Canucks forward Sam Lafferty in the penalty box for tripping defenceman Brett Kulak a minute earlier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made the score 3-0 Oilers with 4:38 left in the period, beating Silovs after corralling Bouchard’s slap shot that had rebounded off the end boards.

Conor Garland got the Canucks on the board after McLeod whiffed on a pass in his own zone, with the Vancouver winger scopping it up and rifling it past Skinner to make it 3-1 at 11:27 of the third period.

With the Canucks coming to life following Garland’s goal, defenceman Filip Hronek made it 3-2 five minutes later after the Vancouver defenceman scored on a blast from the point courtesy a feed from captain Quinn Hughes.

The Canucks pulled Silovs with about two minutes left, but the Oilers hung on to win and take the series.

The Oilers face the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference final, with Game 1 starting Thursday in Texas.

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