Oilers Outclass Stars in Game 5 to Take 3-2 Series Lead – The Hockey Writers – NHL News

Following a thrilling 5-2 victory in Game 4, the Edmonton Oilers took their second straight contest of the Western Conference Final with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Leading the series 3-2, they are a single win away from clinching their first Stanley Cup Final since 2006.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set the tone rather early for this one, scoring a power-play goal less than six minutes into the opening frame. He doubled down just over a minute into the second period, giving the Oilers a 2-0 lead with both goals scored on the power play. With those goals, he reached 20 single-season playoff points for the first time in his career. This is the 39th instance in team history that someone recorded at least that many points in a postseason run.

After taking a two-goal lead, the Oilers never really looked back. The Stars threatened with a few solid chances of their own, but goaltender Stuart Skinner had one of his best performances of the postseason even with a low 20-shot output from Dallas. When their netminder is on his game, the Oilers are essentially unstoppable.

Philip Broberg, playing in just his second game of the playoffs, got on the board late in the second period to extend the Oilers’ lead. Wyatt Johnston scored his 10th goal of the postseason to ruin Skinner’s shutout in the third, but by that point, the game was about over. For the second season in a row, the Stars now face an elimination Game 6 in the Western Conference Final.

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With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both registering points against the Stars, they passed Paul Coffey for the fifth-most playoff points in team history with 104. Doing so in just 65 games each to Coffey’s 94, they are two of the best postseason performers in the history of the NHL. They have another 80 points to go if they want to pass the next player on the list, Glenn Anderson (183 points in 165 games).

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Hub

Defenseman Evan Bouchard also registered an assist in this game, putting him at 50 for his playoff career. Reaching this mark in just 45 games, only Bobby Orr (39 games) and Brian Leetch (41 games) have ever done so faster as a defenseman. Both of them are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, former Conn Smythe Trophy winners, and former Norris Trophy winners — that’s some impressive company.

The Oilers now get to return home to Rogers Place with a 3-2 series lead and a berth to the Stanley Cup Final on the line. The Stars, who will have to battle this momentum swing, need back-to-back victories in order to reach their first Final since 2020. For the first time since Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round, they are facing elimination.

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