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Canucks erase Oilers’ 4-1 lead in shocking Game 1 comeback

Four straight goals erased a three-goal deficit for the Vancouver Canucks against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1.

According to pretty much everyone, the Vancouver Canucks went into their second round series against the Edmonton Oilers as significant underdogs.

The Oilers made them look like underdogs in the first period.

Before the game, Nikita Zadorov said two of the keys to stopping the Oilers were “staying out of the box and turnovers.” This proved prescient, as both of the Oilers’ first-period goals were scored with a man in the box and off a turnover.

It was a difficult first period for Ian Cole, in particular. Cole was guilty of jumping on the ice early to get a penalty for too many men and put the Oilers on the power play in the first minute. When Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up Zach Hyman for the first goal of that power play, his pass went through Cole’s legs in front of the net.

Later in the first period, Cole made an excellent read in the neutral zone to collect a pass and jump into the Oilers zone, only to turn the puck over immediately with a pass to no one. Back in the defensive zone, Cole took a centering pass, but immediately handed the puck to Leon Draisaitl again with an ill-advised bank pass behind his own net.

Draisaitl fed Mattias Ekholm at the point and his shot beat Arturs Silovs in Canucks traffic to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

In the opening minute of the second period, Cole partially atoned for his first-period mistakes with a point shot that pushed off the baseline to Dakota Joshua for an open net to make it 2-1.

Unfortunately for Cole, the hockey gods weren’t done punishing him, as he was the goat on another goal against midway through the second period when a Cody Ceci shot in transition deflected off his leg and went past Silovs.

Less than a minute later, the wheels threatened to completely come off for the Canucks. Hyman took advantage of some space on the left wing and his shot deflected off Tyler Myers’ stick to beat Silovs and give the Oilers a 4-1 lead.

Trailing 4-1, with less than 27 minutes to play, the first game seemed to be a lost cause for the Canucks.

A few minutes later, however, a big change from the third line of Joshua, Elias Lindholm and Conor Garland brought the Canucks back to two before the end of the second period. Aided by a timely pinch on the boards by Carson Soucy, Joshua moved the puck behind the net to Lindholm, whose centering pass deflected off the stick of Stuart Skinner.

Lindholm’s goal gave the Canucks some life heading into the third period and JT Miller kept the blood pumping through their veins. At 4-on-4 after offsetting penalties to Nikita Zadorov and Leon Draisaitl, Brock Boeser tossed the puck to Miller on the side of the net, but instead of looking for a return pass, Miller cleverly deflected the puck over from that of Skinner. shoulder on the short side. It was an absurd trick to bring the Canucks closer.

Then the Canucks showed the Oilers what they showed the Predators in the first round: they know how to hit quickly in key moments. Still trailing by one goal, the Canucks blew up Rogers Arena with two goals in less than a minute.

First, Nikita Zadorov took a slap shot through traffic on a pass from Teddy Bluegers. It was Zadorov’s third goal of the playoffs, as he repeatedly showed his ability to get away in the clutch.

On the next shift, Joshua held a puck in the neutral zone to draw a defender before sending Garland flying down the right wing. His quick release fooled Skinner to give the Canucks their first lead of the game, 5-4.

Miracle of miracles, the head held.

Or rather, it wasn’t a miracle at all. The Canucks only allowed two shots on goal after taking the lead. These were the Oilers’ only two shots in the third period.

Against all odds, when it seemed impossible, the Canucks took a 1-0 lead in their second round series against the Oilers.

THE SCORE OF THE BOX

Need a more in-depth recap of the game? Read the feature I watched this game later tonight or tomorrow morning. do not forget to follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay up to date with the Canucks throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.