J.T. Miller’s late goal lifts Canucks past Oilers to take a 3-2 series lead

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — J.T. Miller scored with 33 seconds remaining to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night that put them a win away from the Western Conference Final.

Carson Soucy and Phillip Di Giuseppe both scored in their returns to the lineup for Vancouver, which will try to wrap up the series in Game 6 on Saturday in Edmonton. Rookie Arturs Silovs made 21 saves for the Canucks.

With the game tied at 2, Vancouver’s Pius Suter fired a shot from near the boards and it bounced off the skate of teammate Elias Pettersson in front of the net and hit the post. Miller picked it up and batted it in for the go-ahead goal, his third of the playoffs.

“I was open for a split second earlier and I’m glad ‘Lindy’ didn’t force it there because (Connor) McDavid was ready to go the other way and it’s one of the ones where we got a nice bounce,” Miller said.

Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark scored for the Oilers, who got 32 saves from Calvin Pickard.

Leon Draisaitl set up the first goal of the game, digging out a puck behind Vancouver’s net and backhanding it to Kane at the bottom of the face off circle. Kane snapped a shot past Silovs for his third goal of the postseason 4:34 into the game.

Draisaitl’s assist gave him at least one point in each of Edmonton’s 10 playoff games. He has eight goals and 13 assists in the postseason.

Soucy, who sat out Game 5 while serving a suspension, tied it at 1 late in the first with a blast from the face off circle that pinged off the bar at the 17:27 mark. The defenseman was suspended by the NHL for cross-checking Edmonton’s Connor McDavid after the final horn in Game 3.

Edmonton regained the lead 33 seconds later off an odd-man rush after Soucy fell in the offensive zone. Connor Brown picked up the loose puck and streaked into Vancouver territory with Janmark. Brown passed to Janmark, who tapped it in to put the Oilers up 2-1.

The Canucks tied it at 2 in the second after Nils Aman disrupted Evan Bouchard’s clearing attempt behind Edmonton’s net. Di Giuseppe, who missed Game 5 because of a personal issue, picked off the puck, spun and wrapped a shot in past Pickard for his first career playoff goal.

“Almost every single guy gave us everything they had,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “Resilient. I thought the guys were terrific tonight. They really came to play. It thought it was obviously one of our best games in the playoffs.”

McDavid came within inches of giving Edmonton the lead with about six minutes left in the game, but shot sailed just wide of the Canucks’ net.

“I thought we got off to a great start,” McDavid said. “I didn’t think we capitalized enough. We were real good in the first period, generating chances, generating power plays, and we didn’t do enough capitalizing early.”

The Oilers were 0 for 5 on the power play, while the Canucks went 0 for 4.

The story has been updated to correct the time of Miller’s goal to 33 seconds left instead of 31.9 seconds, per official stats.

AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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