VANCOUVER, BC – Round 3 bound.

The Oilers confirmed their place in the Western Conference Final on Monday night with a 3-2 victory over the Canucks in Game 7 at Rogers Arena, scoring three times in the second period to help build a three-goal cushion that was challenged in the final nine minutes of regulation after the hosts mounted a late push.

"It's exciting to be a great Vancouver team. That's first and foremost," Connor McDavid said. "They're a really great team. They obviously had our number all year long. It wasn't too long ago we were sitting here doing an interview talking about losing 8-1, so they've had our number and it feels good to come out on top in this series."

"It was a tight series. A passionate series. Both fanbases were going crazy. It's fun to come out on top of that."

Cody Ceci broke things open less than two minutes into the middle frame, ripping a slap shot past netminder Arturs Silovs for the second Game 7 goal of his career before Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each added goals to build Edmonton a 3-0 lead heading into the final period.

The Canucks weren't about to go down without a fight, scoring twice through Conor Garland and Filip Hronek to make for a dramatic final nine minutes in the winner-take-all decider between the two Canadian rivals. The Oilers collected themselves during a timeout before preventing Vancouver from registering any shots in the game's final two minutes with their net empty, solidifying the series victory and their place in Round 3.

"I thought we played 52 great minutes really well. And little mistakes, those are going to happen," McDavid said. "Obviously, it gets a little chaotic from there. You can expect that. We knew it was going to be a tight game. I don't think anyone came in here thinking it would be some sort of cakewalk. It was tight. I thought we did a good job of responding. I thought it was a great timeout by Kris to settle everyone down, and from there on out, I thought we played a real solid game the rest of the way."

The Oilers take Game 7 with a 3-2 victory over the Canucks

Nugent-Hopkins ended up recording the game-winner on the power play during the second period, setting a new career-high in playoff points with 16 after finishing a goal and assist, while Evan Bouchard was masterful again with two helpers to set a new NHL record for the most points by a defenceman in the first two rounds of the playoffs (20).

Stuart Skinner finished with 14 saves, making several important stops to help the Oilers recover from a 3-2 series deficit in the series after the Edmonton product made a combined 29 saves on 32 shots in Games 6 & 7.

"I know there's proof now that I have it in me to bounce back like that. I've proved it many times," Skinner said. "But in a playoff situation like this, it definitely feels good. I can definitely say that it's something that I'm proud of."

The Oilers will face the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final for the opportunity to compete in the Stanley Cup Final. Game 1 will be Thursday at 6:30 pm MT at American Airlines Center.

Tony & Jack discuss Edmonton's 3-2 win over Vancouver in Game 7


The Oilers preached having a good start to Monday's pivotal Game 7 after their morning optional practice, mentioning that they would have to come out in the first 10 minutes and set the tone in a tough building that's been rocking all playoffs.

The Blue & Orange built themselves the start they wanted off a heavy forecheck and pushing of pace as they tried to immediately apply pressure on the Canucks, with their hard work early almost immediately paid dividends when Brett Kulak's shot off a rebound from Dylan Holloway's effort forced Silovs into a sensational blocker save only 1:22 into the first period.

The Canucks were only able to muster two shots in the first, and their best chance wasn't even registered after Ilya Mikheyev was fed for an open look by J.T. Miller from an errant pass by Vincent Desharnais, but the Russian couldn't tuck it inside the post and behind the sliding Skinner.

Mikheyev's miss was a major let-off for the Oilers before they continued their dominant start, outshooting the Canucks 10-1 in the opening 10 minutes and commanding play until an unfortunate double minor for high-sticking against Ryan McLeod put Edmonton on the penalty kill for the remaining 3:44 of the opening frame.

Connor speaks to the media after winning Monday's Game 7

"That could've made it a different game," Knoblauch said. "I thought we played really well, and that could've been a turning point in the game. But our penalty kill, like it has been for almost all the playoffs, has been really solid."

The Canucks earned no shots on their man advantage, with the best opportunity coming on an Oilers' breakaway when Connor Brown found himself free ice before he tried to place five-hole, but Silovs once again stood tall to keep out Brown's one-on-one opportunity.

"It's something that we take so much pride in all season. This is why," Nugent-Hopkins said of the penalty kill. "Because we know that it can make a difference in games like this, so the power play's got to show up and score some timely goals, while the PK has to stop them. As I said, we take a ton of pride in it. We have so many great killers and guys that can do the job on the power play, so it can be the difference-maker and we're proud that it was tonight."

The Oilers outshot the Canucks 13-2 in the opening 20 minutes.

The Oilers eliminate the Canucks with a 3-2 victory in Game 7


It's quite clear now that Cody Ceci thrives when the season's on the line.

The 30-year-old defenceman scored the winning goal in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings back in 2022 to help book his team a place in the Second Round, and his unstoppable slap shot at 1:16 into the middle frame had them on track to go a round further in 2024.

The Oilers killed off the remainder of McLeod's penalty before they were back on the attack with an offensive-zone draw that was won to Kulak before it was moved across to Ceci for a blast that beat Silovs over the left shoulder, breaking the deadlock in this all-important Game 7 on the West Coast.

It's the second straight Game 7 for the Oilers where Ceci's scored the opening goal, and his opening marker on Monday night was his second of the postseason – with both being scored in this series at Rogers Arena. Ceci has four career post-season goals and became the first Oilers defenceman in franchise history to have multiple Game 7 tallies.

"Obviously, that kill in the first was really big," Draisaitl said. "It gave us a lot of momentum going into the second, and then, we kind of just picked up from where we left it off in the first."

Evan & Leon speak after advancing to the third round on Monday

Almost five minutes later, Bouchard showed his patience on a point shot that ended up being tipped home by Hyman to double Edmonton's lead.

Bouchard waited for Hyman to fill the net-front area before it was put on goal by the blueliner, who saw his effort redirected by Hyman before it caught a piece of the far post to cross the goal line for a 2-0 Oilers lead with 14:10 to go in the second period.

Bouchard had a pair of assists in the second period to give himself 20 points (5G, 15A) in the postseason – the third Oilers player to reach that mark this year behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Stuart speaks to the media following Monday's Game 7 win

Skinner wasn't without his crucial saves despite only facing 12 shots through the first two periods. The Oilers netminder stood up Sam Laffery just past the halfway mark of Game 7 on a dangerous rush by the Canucks before they came back the next sequence and forced him into making a big glove save on J.T. Miller.

That was until Nuuuuuuuge and Edmonton's power play came through in the clutch after watching their penalty kill do it earlier on McLeod's double minor.

The Oilers earned a second power play after Laffery brought down Kulak in Edmonton's zone with over five minutes left in the middle frame. Bouchard's slapshot was partially blocked before it bounced off the back boards and popped out on the other side to Nugent-Hopkins, who fired near post and put it off Silovs and in.

The Oilers had a three-goal lead through 40 minutes, but you know with the Canucks facing a big deficit on home ice, there was still a big push to come.

Nugent-Hopkins corrals the puck off the end boards for a PPG


For how close this series was before Game 6, trading one-goal games until Edmonton's 5-1 victory on Saturday, it was only fitting we'd be in for a wild finish.

The Canucks cut into the lead when McLeod fanned on a pass that Conor Garland collected in the left circle before taking a stride and firing a quick wrist shot over the right pad of Skinner to make it 3-1 with 8:33 remaining, providing Rogers Arena some life with time for a comeback still there.

Things got even more nervy for the Blue & Orange when Filip Hronek's shot through traffic off the feed from Quinn Hughes found its way through to make it 3-2, leading to Coach Knoblauch taking his timeout with 4:36 on the clock to try and settle the group down for the final few minutes after Darnell Nurse played the role of motivator during the previous commercial break.

I thought it was a great timeout," McDavid said. "Even Darnell in the last TV timeout bringing the guys together and showing great leadership, and that's what he is. He's a great leader. He's big in this room, and he showed great leadership there bringing everybody in. I thought it was a good timeout by Kris, too. The building's going crazy. It's loud. Everybody understands what's at stake, and it just settled everyone down and we were able to close it up."

Ryan talks to the media after Monday night's Game 7 victory

"Darnell is obviously one of the longest-serving members here and has been a leader. His work ethic and his play speaks for a lot, but they speak even more when you're playing well," Knoblauch said. "And I think the last two games, he really stepped up and elevated his game. For him to have the confidence to rally the guys, they appreciate that and I think it was a well-timed thing to do from a leader."

"Nursey is just a great leader for us, and he stepped up at a big moment and felt the need to calm us down a little bit," Draisaitl added. "I thought it was the right call. After that, I don't know if they scored the second one after that or before that, I'm not sure, but I thought we did a good job in the last three minutes."

With the Canucks' net empty, Edmonton sold out to try and get their bodies in front of pucks, ultimately getting a big block and a clearance to kill off the final seconds and see out their Game 7 victory to advance to the Western Conference Final.

"Guys were eating pucks. Guys did everything they possibly could to win this game," Skinner said. "I think that shows you how hard of a team Vancouver was to beat. I also think it shows you how hard it is just to get to the Third Round, and it only gets harder from here.

"We've got some great experience being able to beat these guys in Game 7, so being able to learn from those mistakes that we made and carry on the things that we did well is going to be really big for us going into Round 3."