Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

VANCOUVER, BC – Dagger delivered and facing elimination.

After the Oilers began getting outworked by the Canucks in the second period, forward J.T. Miller served the decisive late blow in Game 5 on Thursday night at Rogers Arena, collecting a rebound that came off the post before placing his shot under the crossbar with 31.9 left in regulation to complete a 3-2 victory for Vancouver that pushes Edmonton to the brink of elimination from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I thought they played well. I thought they had a lot of jump after the first period," McDavid said. "I thought they were the better team the last 40 minutes, and we couldn't find a way to generate much – even on the power play."

The Canucks take a 3-2 series lead with a last-gasp win in Game 5

Evander Kane scored the opening goal that was nullified by Carson Soucy late in the opening period before Mattias Janmark responded 22 seconds later to make it 2-1 for the Oilers on a two-on-one with Connor Brown, who picked up his first point of the playoffs along with defenceman Vincent Desharnais in the defeat with an assist.

Phillip Di Giuseppe capitalized on a turnover to equalize for the Canucks during a dominant second period where they outshot the Oilers by a 17-4 margin,  putting the Blue & Orange on their heels entering the final frame where Vancouver found their late winner off the stick of Miller in the final minute of regulation.

Goaltender Calvin Pickard was solid for the Oilers in between the pipes but ended the night with his first-career playoff defeat despite making 32 saves.

Edmonton failed to score a power-play goal for the first time in the 2024 Playoffs, finishing the night 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

"The power play has been really good the entire playoffs," Zach Hyman said. "Today was a night where we would've liked to have got one to help the team win, especially with the chances we had. I think we did some good things out there, but we weren't good enough. We didn't generate as much as we usually do."

The Oilers trail 3-2 in the series and head back to Oil Country in need of a victory to keep their season alive on Saturday in Game 6 at Rogers Place. Puck drop is slated for 6:00 pm MT.

"We're good at bouncing back," McDavid said. "We've always said that. We've always been confident in that, and I would expect the same."

Tony & Jack discuss Edmonton's Game 5 loss on Thursday


The Oilers had the start they wanted when Pius Suter took a goaltender interference penalty to send the Oilers to an early power-play opportunity, leading to the Canucks earning the stop and giving their fans something to cheer for in the first three minutes of the first period.

Edmonton finished the opening period an uncharacteristic 0-for-3 with the man advantage, but their five-on-five play was the major strength of their opening frame, starting when the second line of Holloway, Draisaitl and Kane got to work on the cycle to produce the game's opening goal.

Kane and Holloway missed on a rush chance before Desharnais gave it to Draisaitl, who Kane in the left circle to fire a low shot towards the Canucks' crease that went five-hole on Silovs to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead before the five-minute mark of the opening frame.

The assist was significant for Draisaitl, as the German extended his playoff point streak to 10 games to join Mark Messier (14 games, 1988) and Wayne Gretzky (10 games, 1986) as the only players in Oilers franchise history to reach the mark. Kane's tally was his third of the postseason, and the winger now has 19 post-season goals over the last three playoffs – tied for the sixth most amongst all NHLers.

Connor speaks with the media following Thursday's 3-2 loss

Desharnais made a vital intervention near the four-minute mark when he pulled the puck off the line after Elias Lindholm pushed the puck through, protecting Edmonton's one-goal lead with a one-hand clearance with the puck inches from crossing the goal line.

In addition to their power play, the Oilers failed to convert on a few really strong looks in the opening frame after Brown was set up for a wide-open look in front before Hyman and McDavid had a dangerous two-on-one broken up at the last second. That proved to be a pivotal save after the Canucks avoided going two goals down before they were heading down the other way to tie the game, making the most of their rookie netminder's save.

The Canucks hung around for large stretches of the frame and were able to equalize when Carson Soucy, who was back from serving his one-game suspension for cross-checking McDavid at the end of Game 3, beat Pickard glove side from the left circle to level the score at 2-2 with 2:33 left in the frame.

But it would take the Oilers only 22 seconds to restore their lead when Brown and Janmark got loose on a two-on-one following the next sequence inside Edmonton's zone, with Brown finding his Swedish linemate at the back post for his first playoff goal in Blue & Orange.

Brown's assist was his first point of the playoffs to help set up a 2-1 lead for the Oilers, but the three missed opportunities on the power play and Silovs' big save on Brown allowed Vancouver to come out on the other side of the intermission and turn the tide.

"I thought we got off to a great start," McDavid said. "I don't think we capitalized well enough in the first period. I thought we were really good in the first period generating chances and generating power plays, but we didn't do enough."

Zach answers questions following Thursday's 3-2 loss in Game 5


The Canucks kept their foot down for nearly the full middle frame, outshooting the Oilers 17-4 in the period and capitalizing on one of the mistakes that Edmonton made to make it 2-2 through 40 minutes of Thursday's pivotal Game 5 at Rogers Arena.

The Oilers were lucky to have Pickard on his game for the second straight contest, with the netminder making a massive right-pad stop on Miller in tight during a Canucks' power play inside the first five minutes of the frame after their No. 9 made a strong inside move from the left post.

Almost a minute and a half later, defenceman Evan Bouchard lost the puck below the goal line from the pressure applied by Nils Åman behind him, leading to the puck popping out front for Di Giuseppe to throw a spin-around backhand toward goal that slid through Pickard's five-hole.

Vancouver continued to outwork Edmonton for the remainder of the period, including on the power play where the Canucks were thoroughly outplaying the Oilers and looking like the team more likely to convert despite failing to pick up a goal on any of their four chances in the first 40 minutes.

The Canucks had 29 shots through the opening two periods, marking their highest total of the series with still a period to play on Thursday to decide a winner with the score knotted at 2-2.

"They were just pressuring," Knoblauch said. "Unless you get in a rhythm and a flow, you've got the long change and you just get stuck out there a little bit longer. They were changing and out-hustling us; also, just being cautious of flipping the puck out. We got it out of the neutral zone and got it out of harm's way, but we couldn't get it down 200 feet to be in the offensive zone. We couldn't get fresh bodies out there, and I think we didn't have the flow."

Kris addresses the media after a 3-2 loss in Game 5 on Thursday


After the Oilers won it at the death in Game 4, the Canucks returned the favour when Miller delivered the dagger through with 31.9 seconds on the clock in the final frame, all but dashing Edmonton's chances of stealing a victory in the face of adversity on Thursday night.

The Canucks had been stretching the ice all evening with their forwards flying the zone quickly to open up fast breakout opportunities and long stretch passes that caused havoc for the Oilers' blueliners. Edmonton's breakout and transition game lagged behind in the last two periods, with their best play the majority of time being to flip the puck out and relieve pressure – a dangerous combination against a Vancouver team that loves to get in on the forecheck and punish teams.

"When you're always defending, it's taxing. It's tiring," Knoblauch said. "It's so much easier to be on the attack and make them defend. It's fun being in the offensive zone on the cycle and sipping the puck around in the offensive zone. We didn't have enough of that. When I say we gave away the puck, we didn't make turnovers – what cost us was we were just making the safe play all the time, and as a result, just always had to defend."

After it was looking like overtime was a certainty, the Canucks regrouped and went back at the Oilers again – this time, it would be effective despite the broken play at Edmonton's bench that led to the game-winning goal.

Watch the recap of Game 5 between the Oilers & Canucks

"Weird one," McDavid said post-game. "It was weird whatever was going on at the bench, and then, they end up with it with a little bit of time and we're just trying to hold the middle. They get a bounce, and they probably deserved one tonight. I thought they were the better team and they get a bounce at the end of the game. That's the way it goes."

Elias Pettersson made a great play to knock down a puck over his head at the blueline, allowing the Canucks to gain possession crossing into the offensive zone before it was given to Elias Lindholm as he glided down the right half-boards. The Swedish centre could've passed off to Miller in the slot, but instead waited for his linemate to make his way to the back door before it was filtered toward the crease.

"We got it out of our zone," Hyman recalled. "We got into the neutral zone, they quick up and it was a play from the wall to the post. I think Miller was coming off the bench. He came right to the back side and got it."

Pettersson was parked in front when Bouchard went forward to meet him before the puck struck the Canucks' forward's skate and hit the far post, but the Miller was there to place his one-touch shot under the crossbar, providing the Oilers a late blow that would wind up as the game-winner after Edmonton made a desperate attempt to equalize with their net empty.

The defeat pushes Edmonton to the brink of elimination, trailing 3-2 in the series heading back to Edmonton for Game 6 on Saturday.