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Oilers clinch second in Pacific, can win division

Defeat Canucks to secure home ice in first round of playoffs

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The Edmonton Oilers clinched second place in the Pacific Division with a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

The Oilers (46-26-9) moved within two points of the Anaheim Ducks for first place and can win the division with another victory against the Canucks on Sunday and an Anaheim loss in regulation to the Los Angeles Kings.

Either way, Edmonton will play Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at home.

"It's definitely something we were striving for," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "Happy to lock that up."

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Canucks highlights

 

Edmonton will play either the Calgary Flames (if the Oilers win the Pacific) or the San Jose Sharks (if the Oilers finish second) in the first round.

Mark Letestu gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead at 3:04 of the third period on a power-play deflection of a pass from McDavid, who extended his point streak to 13 games, longest in the NHL this season. It was McDavid's 100th NHL assist and League-leading 98th point this season.

"It's not weighing on my mind," said McDavid, who has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) during his streak. "It's about the team. We found a way to get the win and clinch home ice. It's more important the team gets 100 points than an individual."

The Oilers have 101 points, surpassing 100 for the first time since 1986-87 (106).

Video: EDM@VAN: Eberle wires in a wrister to open scoring

IIro Pakarinen made it 3-1 at 9:20 of the third period, and Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler scored with 40 seconds left for a 3-2 score.

Jordan Eberle scored, and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the Oilers, who have won seven of their past eight games.

"They pushed us," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said of Vancouver. "I'm glad that we had that, I'm glad that we found a way to win and solidify home ice."

Brock Boeser scored, and Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Canucks (30-42-9), who have lost seven straight. Vancouver lost its final 12 home games (0-9-3).

"It's not like our effort's not there," Canucks forward Bo Horvat said. "It's not like guys are giving up by any means. That shows a lot of character."

Eberle made it 1-0 at 1:01 of the second period, beating Miller high over the blocker. Boeser tied it 1-1 on a power play with 3:24 left in the period, converting a blind backhand pass from Henrik Sedin through the crease. It was Boeser's fourth goal in eight NHL games since signing with the Canucks after his college season at the University of North Dakota.

"Things have gone pretty well but, obviously, it could be a lot better," Boeser said. "It's not like my success is more important than the team's success."

Video: EDM@VAN: Edler buries loose puck for 300th NHL point

 

Goal of the game

Letestu lost a tooth on a high stick from Reid Boucher late in the second period but scored the go-ahead goal on the four-minute power play, tipping McDavid's pass over Miller's glove.

"I'll always trade teeth for goals," Letestu said.

Video: EDM@VAN: McDavid, Letestu connect for power-play goal

 

Saves of the game

Talbot got his left pad on Ben Hutton cutting in alone 7:10 into the third period, then denied Drew Shore on the rebound from the top of the crease.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Horvat had an empty net on a power-play rebound with 4:28 left in the second period but Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera got the shaft of his stick on the shot and deflected it out of play.

 

Highlight of the game

Oilers forward Milan Lucic skated out of the penalty box and onto a partial breakaway midway through the third period, holding off defenseman Troy Stecher with one hand to get off his shot, and Pakarinen scored the winning goal on the rebound.

Video: EDM@VAN: Pakarinen beats Miller with top-shelf tally

 

They said it

"It's a 100-point team in here. There wasn't a lot of people that predicted that coming into the year. There's certainly progress, but as we win, as we continue to reach these different levels, there are new possibilities." -- Oilers forward Mark Letestu

 

"It's misleading when people score at this time of the year a little bit. I don't think you can take too much into that, but at the same time he has a couple goal-scorer's goals. He's a smart player and I like his character and I think he'll find a way to make sure he's ready next year." -- Canucks coach Willie Desjardins on Brock Boeser

 

Video: EDM@VAN: Boeser nets PPG off H. Sedin's no-look feed

 

Need to know

McLellan said goalie Laurent Brossoit would start Sunday after Talbot played his NHL-leading 73rd game Saturday. … Desjardins said goalie Richard Bachman would likely start, but it would be Miller's decision. … Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi did not play after injuring his neck in a 4-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and won't play Sunday.

 

What's next

Canucks: At the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: McDavid records 100th NHL assist in 3-2 road win

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