VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Edmonton Oilers, led by their two elite leaders Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, wouldn't be denied earning a split of this second-round series heading back to Oil Country.

"I thought there was a lot of resilience," McDavid said. "I thought we were a bit unlucky to be down going into the third, but we stuck with it and hung in there all night. I thought everybody battled so hard to get this one, so this was a big one and it feels good to be tied."

After the Oilers applied relentless pressure in the third period and tied the score on a McDavid breakaway, Evan Bouchard notched the OT winner just 5:38 into the extra frame of Game 2 on Friday night with an effort that went off the stick of defenceman Ian Cole and into the Canucks' net to reward the Oilers a 4-3 victory.

"I thought it was just work for us," McDavid said. "I thought we did a great job of getting on the forecheck, keeping pucks alive and hanging onto it below the goal line and making them defend. I thought we made them defend a lot and we wore them down."

Bouchard scores the overtime winner in a 4-3 victory in Game 2

McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each picked up the helpers on Bouchard's game-winning tally to finish with a goal and three assists, extending their playoff point streaks in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs to seven games and reaching 90 career playoff points on the same night in their 56th game.

Draisaitl was a game-time decision coming before Game 2 but finished with 27:05 of ice time to go along with recording his sixth multi-point game in Edmonton's last seven playoff contests.

"I think they're two of the best players in the league, but it's their work ethic," Warren Foegele added. "These guys work super hard. I know in the summer I train with them and they're always competing, always waking up early and working on their craft. They don't just show up in the regular season – they show up for the playoffs."

"He's an amazing player – one of the best in the world," McDavid said of Draisaitl. "The best player in the world on a lot of nights, and tonight was one of those nights. He was great."

Defenceman Mattias Ekholm scored in the first period to register goals in back-to-back playoff games for the first time in his career, while goaltender Stuart Skinner made 16 saves on 19 shots for the win.

The series is now split at one game apiece heading back to Edmonton for Games 3 & 4 at Rogers Place on Sunday and Tuesday.

Tony & Jack break down Friday's exhilarating OT win in Game 2


Both sides capitalized on first-period man advantages to make it 1-1 through the opening 20 minutes, but it was a major boost for the Oilers seeing their power-play talisman in Draisaitl looking fit enough to suit up and continue wreaking havoc from the right circle.

"We weren't sure what were going to get from him," Knoblauch said. "As I said, he was questionable. We didn't know he was going to play until after he came off from the warm-up. I took a little peek at him, and I kind of felt like he was going to play just seeing him skate during the warm-up. When he got off, he confirmed that he was ready to play, and then boy, did he ever play."

The German wasn't the only Oiler who was questionable for Game 2 at Rogers Arena, with Adam Henrique being able to get back into the lineup for the first time in the series after working his way back over the seven days in between Rounds 1 & 2 for Edmonton.

Draisaitl would take up the mantle of first-line left winger next to McDavid and Hyman, which might've only been for the first few shifts or a period if it weren't for the impressions he gave to his coaching staff that he was more than fine to handle the big minutes.

"Mostly just to protect Leon and not have him play as heavy minutes," Knoblauch said. "It's a little more physical, a little more demanding on the body and we felt that he could play left wing and we could protect him, but there was no need to protect him with the way he played tonight. And the way that line was playing, weren't going to put him back to centre. We would just continue playing him there."

Kris addresses the media after Friday's win to even the series

The Oilers benefitted from having their full personnel to choose from to begin the game, which started with a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tripping penalty that was quickly jumped on by the Canucks to open the scoring. Draisaitl further confirmed to his coaching staff and teammates that he was no worse for wear when he was out on the ice to take the ensuing defensive-zone draw, and he would finish the night with 19 faceoffs – winning nine of them (47.7 percent)

"He had a couple of shifts and then we had that first penalty kill," Knoblauch said. "The faceoff's on the one side, and he's looking over like, 'Do you want me to take it?', so soon as he gave me that look, I knew he would be fine. He's going to have a heck of a game."

Vancouver did get on the board first only 21 seconds after their first power play began when J.T. Miller held onto the puck in the left circle and quickly fired across a pass to Elias Pettersson, whose low one-timer wasn't able to be picked up by Skinner before it went in to create a one-goal advantage for the Canucks in the opening five minutes.

Draisaitl delivers on the power play to tie the game at 1-1

The Oilers got a power play of their own with 9:23 gone in the opening frame and needed nearly three-quarters of the man advantage to find an opening for McDavid to set up Draisaitl in the right circle for the opening goal, but not on one of his patented one-timers.

The German opened up with space to accept his captain's pass before going far side with his effort, beating Silovs inside the far post to equalize 1-1 with just over nine minutes left in the opening period on his sixth goal of the postseason.

By staying in the lineup and picking up another power-play goal, Draisaitl continues his streak of recording a point in every game of these playoffs with his 90th career postseason point in his 56th career playoff game, making him the third fastest player in NHL history to reach the milestone behind Wayne Gretzky (43 GP) and Mario Lemieux (45 GP).

Edmonton would kill off another Vancouver power play before the intermission and even forced another opportunity late in the period, seeing Ekholm's open shot from the slot stopped well by Silovs before the rebound trickled loose to Hyman, who slid and tried to get to it before the period expired but hit the side of the Canucks' net.

McDavid added an assist to become only one of three players in NHL history to have 13 assists in the first seven games of a postseason, and the captain is now on a seven-game assist streak to begin the playoffs, tying Mark Messier for the longest stretch in club history.

Warren & Leon speak to the media following Friday's OT victory


It wouldn't go down as another power-play tally, but the Canucks made the most of an early four-on-four situation in the middle frame to put themselves back into the lead – albeit only for less than 30 seconds before the Oilers replied in earnest.

Derek Ryan and Nils Höglander took minor penalties near the beginning of the period, with the Canucks winning the ensuing offensive-zone draw and kicking the puck back to Carson Soucy, who let fly a quick wrist shot that was knocked down by the stick of Boeser to fool Skinner with a deflection that snuck through his five-hole only 53 seconds into the frame.

The Canucks' fans hadn't even sat back in their seats before Ekholm had the puck fall onto his stick in the slot for a hard shot that the Swede buried into the top shelf on Silovs' glove side just 23 seconds after the Oilers fell behind. Ekholm now has goals in back-to-back games after scoring his second goal of the postseason, marking just the second time in his career that he recorded more than one goal in a postseason and the first time he's ever scored in back-to-back playoff games.

For the next 17 minutes, it looked like this game would go to the third period deadlocked at two, but an innocuous shot from Nikita Zadorov off a zone entry restored Vancouver's lead in the last two minutes after the Russian tucked his tight-angle shot under the crossbar with Skinner hugging his right post.

The Oilers trailed 3-2 heading into the final period and would need to come from behind to avoid taking a 2-0 series deficit back to Edmonton to continue the series for Games 3 & 4.

Mattias talks to the media after the Oilers win in Game 2


The third period was all Oilers, and the Canucks were barely able to do what was required defensively to make sure they made it to sudden death.

"I was happy with the first, I was happy with the second, but definitely, the third was our best and we just pressured," Knoblauch said. "I thought we simplified the game and showed a little more urgency than we played in Game 1, and we had the week off. But we need more of that. All four lines played well, but we had a lot of good shifts from our first line, which takes a lot of pressure off everyone else."

McDavid was a man on a mission and had five shots to his name at the end of regulation after he'd endured the first playoff game of his career without a shot on goal in Game 1 on Wednesday, where Edmonton had 18 shots for the lowest amount they've ever recorded in a playoff game during the McDavid-Draisaitl era.

"I think that's what makes him probably the best player ever to play: his will to push himself to do more and to be better," Draisaitl said. "There's no one out there like him. I think we can all agree on that. Maybe he wasn't happy with his game in Game 1, but you can count on him coming back with a strong effort and I'm just proud of how much work he puts in."

The Oilers captain's shot count didn't include when he rattled the post 17 seconds into the third period after Edmonton began the frame with 1:46 of carry-over power-play time from Pius Suter's interference call before the break against who else than McDavid himself.

Connor speaks to the media following Friday's 4-3 overtime win

The Blue & Orange hemmed the tired hosts into their end, finishing the period with a 15-2 shot supremacy, but it was off a fast break by McDavid that sent the captain in alone on a breakaway that got us back to a tie game with just under three-quarters of the final frame left to play.

"I think we started to skate a little bit better and find our legs and just do what we do best," Draisaitl said. "We're skating fast when we're at our best, so I think we felt that a little bit and took over in the third. They're a really good defending team. We know they keep it limited, but I thought we did a good job."

McDavid managed to poke the puck past the long-reaching stick of Soucy, sending himself in alone to put his wrist shot over the right pad of Silovs to tie things up at 3-3 with his second goal of the playoffs and third point of Game 2.

The Oilers had their best opportunity to win it amidst their unstoppable pressure over the remaining 14:33 of the period when Ekholm made a rush to the back post to pick up Hyman's, but the Canucks' defenders were able to get a twig to it and send the chance away from harm.

Despite Edmonton's pressure, we were bound for sudden death where Edmonton looked to continue that third-period energy and capitalize upon it.

"It was a game where we took over halfway through it and we just kept coming and kept pushing," Ekholm said. "The fact that we didn't score a goal late in the third was crazy to me. I thought we had chances, on chances, on chances. Good on us sticking with it in OT."

Rick addresses the media following Friday's 4-3 OT defeat


Make no mistake, the Oilers felt the result was justified despite the fortunate bounce that helped guide them to victory in overtime.

"It's a bounce and it goes in, but I thought we earned it," Ekholm added. "Throughout the night, I thought they had a hell of a comeback in the first game. I thought tonight we had that comeback mindset. They were up three times in this game and we just kept coming back, so good on us. It's an even series."

After a dominating third period looking like the team that was more likely to leave Game 2 victorious, the Oilers got rewarded for their tireless pressure when Evan Bouchard showed patience with the puck before putting an effort on goal that was put into the Canucks' own net by defenceman Ian Cole, awarding them a moment on the ice to swarm their defenceman and celebrate a massive victory on Friday night.

"I've said this a million times, I don't know. I don't think the moment ever gets too big for him," Ekholm said. "I think he's always just himself. He plays like it's game sixty-six in late February, and he's just doing his thing. Or it's an overtime game in the Second Round of a must-win game. He's the same guy playing with the same poise. It's just crazy to see his development since I got here, and it's been great to have him as a partner. We'll keep going and hopefully, he keeps up his same play."

The 4-3 victory earns them a split of the series going back to Edmonton for Games 3 & 4 at Rogers Place on Sunday and Tuesday night in ICE District.

Watch the recap of Friday night's 4-3 Oilers OT victory in Game 2