Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Oilers force Game 7 with 5-1 win over the Canucks in Game 6

The Vancouver Canucks had their worst game of the series in Game 6, allowing the Edmonton Oilers to stay alive.
The Vancouver Canucks had an opportunity to eliminate the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in Game 6 of their second-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Vancouver Canucks headed into Edmonton on Saturday night with a chance to eliminate the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of their second-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With their season on the line, the Oilers turned back to their number-one goaltender, Stuart Skinner, despite his struggles earlier in the series. Skinner had a .793 save percentage through the first three games against the Canucks, including four goals against on just 15 shots in Game 3 before he was pulled after the second period. Oilers backup, Calvin Pickard, had a .915 save percentage since relieving Skinner in Game 3.

Ultimately, the starting goaltender for the Oilers was a moot point: the Canucks barely tested him. The Canucks managed just 15 shots on Skinner and far fewer quality scoring chances. It was a remarkably lacklustre effort from the Canucks, who struggled in every facet of the game.

Midway through the first period, Dylan Holloway opened the scoring for the Oilers with a magnificent individual effort, dancing around Quinn Hughes at the blue line before opening up Arturs Silovs' five-hole with a quick deke. 

The Canucks responded quickly with a goal from the new-look all-Swede line of Nils Höglander, Elias Lindholm, and Elias Pettersson. Höglander gained the line and held the puck while his linemates joined him, then fed Pettersson, who lost his check with a quick move, cut down low, and set up Höglander for a point-blank chance that Höglander buried on his own rebound.

The Oilers thought they had the go-ahead goal in the final seconds of the first period as Evan Bouchard's slap shot beat the buzzer, but the goal was immediately waved off by the officials as Connor McDavid clearly impeded Silovs in the crease. While the definition of goaltender interference can be impenetrable at times, this call, at least, was obvious.

It didn't much matter for the Oilers, who dominated the second period and scored twice to take a two-goal lead into the final frame.

Zach Hyman got the 2-1 goal off a pass from Connor McDavid in the slot. Brock Boeser identified Hyman's threat too late and didn't make a hard enough play on him, allowing Hyman to take the puck off his skate and get the shot away. Silovs got a piece of the puck but not quite enough to keep it from tumbling over the goal line.

Then a long point shot by Evan Bouchard beat Silovs past the blocker, going off the post and in to make it 3-1 for the Oilers.

The two teams then traded minute-long 5-on-3 power plays — a major opportunity for first the Oilers to put the game away for good, then a chance for the Canucks to kick off a comeback. Neither team, however, could capitalize.

Considering the Oilers' power play was seemingly automatic through the first few games of the series, it was an outstanding performance by the Canucks' penalty kill to keep them in the game. The Canucks' power play, on the other hand, never looked dangerous despite the two-man advantage. It was a missed opportunity that cost the Canucks dearly.

The Oilers took a stranglehold on the game early in the third period when Carson Soucy and Tyler Myers couldn't decide who would check McDavid, allowing him too much room to cut up the right wing and send a centring pass in front for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to chip in through Silovs's legs. 

By the time Evander Kane fired the 5-1 goal through traffic directly off a faceoff win by Leon Draisaitl, the game was essentially already over.

For the first time in the series, the game wasn't decided by one goal. The Canucks will now look to bounce back on home ice, as Game 7 heads to Vancouver on Monday night.


Need a more in-depth recap of the game with more highlights, analysis, quips, and quotes? Read the I Watched This Game feature this evening or tomorrow morning. Don't forget to follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay updated on the Canucks throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.