Draisaitl nets shootout winner; McDavid registers two assists, ending season with 108 points
EDMONTON, AB - Leon Draisaitl scored the shootout winner with a slap shot to lift the Oilers over the Canucks 3-2 in the final National Hockey League game for Daniel and Henrik Sedin, while the hockey world supported the Humboldt Broncos after their tragic bus crash.
"The day was emotional," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "You go to bed knowing about the tragedy and realize its magnitude when you wake up. Watching the games tonight around the League, you realize the impact it's had, then you throw in the last game of the season, an overtime and shootout combined with the Sedins - what they meant to the game and the performance from the fans - we're tired.
"It's been a day full of emotion."
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and assist - ending the season with 48 points in 62 games, Draisaitl notched his 25th of the season and Cam Talbot made 36 saves in the win.
Edmonton went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Members from each time joined at centre ice while the volume was lowered and lights dimmed, as Rogers Place bowed their heads in unison for a moment of silence.
At the drop of the puck, the decibel level raised for the Sedin Twins, who were to receive a proper goodbye not only for their gentlemanly farewell to Ryan Smyth on April 12, 2014, but for their many years of class, showmanship and athletic performance.
"Go Sedins Go," was chanted during the opening faceoff. Cheers reverberated when Henrik first handled the puck through the neutral zone at the halfway mark of the first period. Attendants rose when Daniel almost tipped home a point shot late in the frame.
"It was really classy by the organization and the fans were outstanding," said Daniel Sedin of the farewell from Rogers Place.
Darnell Nurse was taken back by the crowd appreciation for the Sedins.
"It's special to be out there for their last game and see the way the fans reacted," he said. "It shows how classy of a city we are."
But there was still a game to be decided and the Oilers would be the ones to open the scoring, converting on their first power play of the night.
The club maintained possession for an extended period then capped the sequence with a roof job courtesy of Draisaitl. He notched his 25th of the season and 70th point, while McDavid picked up an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the secondary apple.
The Canucks responded after the Oilers killed a two-man advantage. Brendan Leipsic threw the puck on net and it caught a bounce off Adam Larsson's skate and Jussi Jokinen, with the former Oiler knotting it up at 1-1.
A pair of goals were swapped in the second, beginning with Tyler Motte gaining a brief lead for Vancouver.
A point shot was blocked in front and Motte was in the right area to scoop up the puck and zip it past Talbot, providing the Canucks with the 2-1 edge.
"It was tough to play today for sure, with what happened yesterday," said Daniel Sedin. "Guys did what they could."
Nugent-Hopkins replied for the Oilers, receiving a drop-pass from McDavid then ripping a wrister far side on Nilsson for his 24th of the campaign. McDavid registered yet another helper - his 67th of the year - and Nurse received the secondary assist.
Edmonton opened the third with two quick-strike opportunities.
The top line of McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins and Ty Rattie approached on a 3-on-1 but failed to put the puck on net then Milan Lucic and the third line followed it up with a goalmouth jam that was stopped by Nilsson.
Neither team could break the deadlock, forcing overtime.
There were plenty of chances in the extra period. McDavid made a great defensive effort on Jake Virtanen, then later turned up ice to have his cross-ice feed on a 2-on-1 be blocked. Henrik Sedin also hit the post with 20 seconds remaining.
The teams proceeded to the shootout, where Draisaitl ended it.
"We wanted to finish the season strong, especially at home in front of our fans," said Talbot. "We got to accomplish that tonight and we can head into the off-season feeling a little bit better about ourselves."
The Oilers will hold an end of the season media availability on Sunday.