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Three Reasons Canucks Are on Verge of Conference Finals

In another close row to match up, Vancouver Canucks beat the Edmonton Oilers 3–2. What were three reasons the Canucks won the game?

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 victory puts them one win away from the Western Conference Final. Carson Soucy and Phillip Di Giuseppe 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.

Related: Why Conor Garland is a Canucks’ Catalyst and Crucial Contributor

The Game’s Scoring – Both the Canucks and the Oilers

With the game tied at 2, Vancouver’s Pius Suter fired a shot from near the boards that 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 goal of the playoffs.

Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark scored for the Oilers, who got 32 saves from Calvin Pickard. Leon Draisaitl set up the game’s first goal when he dug out a puck behind Vancouver’s net and backhanded it to Kane at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Kane snapped a shot past Silovs for his third goal of the postseason. 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.

JT Miller texted Rick Tocchet to apologize for Canucks Game 4 loss. He needed no such apology after Game 5.

Soucy, who sat out Game 5 while serving a suspension, tied the score at 1-1 late in the first with a blast from the faceoff circle that pinged off the bar at 17:27. 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 missed Game 5 to be with his wife, who was delivering their second child. He picked off a loose puck, spun around, and pushed a shot past Pickard for his first career playoff goal.

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

Three Reasons the Canucks Won Last Night

There were three key reasons the Canucks beat the owners and Thursday night’s game.

Reason One: Defensive Performance and Containment of Key Canucks’ Players The Canucks’ defense was outstanding, particularly in shutting down the Oilers’ star players, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Defensemen Tyler Myers, Carson Soucy, Nikita Zadorov, and Quinn Hughes effectively kept Edmonton from getting quality shots and cycling the puck, limiting their scoring opportunities.

Reason Two: The Canucks Penalty Killing Stepped Up Big Vancouver’s penalty kill was exceptional. Edmonton, known for its powerful power play, went 0 for 5 on the night. The Canucks were more aggressive, winning loose pucks, recovering quickly, and being more physical. This disrupted Edmonton’s power play and prevented them from capitalizing on their opportunities.

Reason Three: Goaltend Arturs Silovs Was Stellar Once Again Although both goalies were great, rookie Arturs Silovs made 21 key saves, providing a solid backbone for the Canucks. His timely saves and calm presence helped maintain the team’s composure and kept the game within reach, allowing Vancouver to capitalize on their chances. Calvin Pickard of Edmonton also had a strong game with 32 saves, keeping the Oilers competitive. However, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Canucks’ overall performance.

The Canucks were the better team in this game. Can they take it all in Game 6 in Edmonton?

Related: J.T. Miller Scores Late, Canucks Take 3-2 Series Lead Over Oilers

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