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FEATURE: Nurse helping break barriers for Edmonton's marginalized youth

The King Clancy finalist has used his platform to empower Edmonton's marginalized youth and foster inclusion and diversity through sport by teaming up with organizations like Free Play for Kids

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - Having the platform to empower marginalized communities through sport comes with it the responsibility of using it, leaving behind a legacy that will last long after your hockey career is over.

Darnell Nurse has a keen and personal understanding of this concept.

"As a professional athlete, a Canadian, a father and the son of an immigrant, I truly believe that it is up to me to use my position and platform to help others like me," Nurse said on his selection as a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for the second year in a row.

"Like standing up for my teammates on the ice, I am here for the kids who need me -- that's what is important to me and that will never change."

The 28-year-old has been a full-time resident of Edmonton for eight years, where he's grown into a top-tier NHL defenceman a vital piece of the Oilers leadership group. Off the ice, Nurse has become a champion for diversity and inclusion in his community as an ambassador for organizations like Free Play for Kids and Right To Play -- two initiatives focused on empowering marginalized youth through the power of sport.

Nurse's connection with Free Play For Kids is only two years in the making, but the defenceman's unwavering commitment to the organization's mission of breaking down the "pay to play" model of sports and the high costs of childcare has already led to thousands of Edmonton's marginalized children getting involved in sports free of charge in a safe, accessible, and inclusive environment.

"It's a partnership that's just over a year old," he said. "It's an organization I think that does so much for the community, not only for the people within the community but newcomers as well. Edmonton has been a place that I've called home for eight years now, and to find an organization that brings sport and play and community to people that really deserve it and need it, I can't be happier to be a part of it."

Video: COMMUNITY | Nurse King Clancy

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RELEASE: Nurse named finalist for King Clancy Trophy

Oilers defenceman has been active in several community initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion through the power of sports

by Press Release @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - For the second consecutive season, Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse has been selected as a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

The 28-year-old from Hamilton, Ont., has been active in several community initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion through the power of sports. As an ambassador for Free Play for Kids, he helps provide marginalized children -- many of whom are refugees, new Canadians or Indigenous youth -- with the opportunity to play sports in a safe, accessible and inclusive environment. Nurse also serves as an ambassador for Right To Play, which aims to protect, educate and empower children to rise above adversity through sports.

"As a professional athlete, a Canadian, a father and the son of an immigrant, I truly believe that it is up to me to use my position and platform to help others like me," Nurse said. "Like standing up for my teammates on the ice, I am here for the kids who need me -- that's what is important to me and that will never change."

Video: COMMUNITY | Nurse King Clancy

Nurse expanded his humanitarianism by creating the Darnell Nurse Excellence Scholarship in 2021, teaming up with his high school alma mater in Hamilton to award two scholarships each year to deserving students pursuing post-secondary aspirations. He also has been a prominent youth mentor, sponsored players in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), and supported food banks and various healthcare initiatives during the pandemic.

The King Clancy Trophy nominees were selected by their respective NHL teams, and the winner will be chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

The other finalists are Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund and New York Islanders forward Anders Lee. The King Clancy Trophy winner will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26.

The first-place finisher will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice, while the two runners-up will each receive a $5,000 donation.

The Oilers 50/50 Bonus Raffle that concludes June 19 and is at nearly $3.5 million is part of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation's Hockey for All Kids in Oil Country initiative in partnership with Free Play for Kids, KidSport Alberta, Sport Central and the Hockey Alberta Foundation.

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FUTURE WATCH: Grubbe ready to compete and grow with the Oilers

"When you're competing like that, the skill shines through, so that's something that I've kind of learned to be good at," Grubbe said after signing his entry-level deal with Edmonton

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - With a diverse and well-rounded skillset at his disposal, newly-acquired and signed centre Jayden Grubbe knows that it's the competitiveness and the effort he puts in that can push him to the next level.

"That's something that's kind of built into you is the compete and bringing it every game, not just the skillset," he said. "When you're competing like that, the skill shines through, so that's something that I've kind of learned to be good at."

The Calgary, AB product spoke to Bob Stauffer and 630CHED's Oilers Now after his rights were acquired by the Edmonton Oilers from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick on Wednesday -- one day before he was set to re-enter the NHL Draft following the expiration of his signing window with the Rangers at 5:00 p.m. ET on June 1.

The Oilers and Grubbe agreed to a three-year entry-level contract just hours later, reaffirming the organization's interest in the prospect and solidifying the opportunity for the Red Deer Rebels' captain of three seasons to grow into the 200-foot player he feels capable of becoming at the NHL level within the Oilers organization.

"I'm a good 200-foot player. I like to play physical and use my speed and skill around the net and down low," he said. "I try to pitch in wherever I can whether it's blocking shots, killing penalties or taking faceoffs. I like to think overall I'm a good player that wants to compete hard."

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RELEASE: Oilers acquire rights to Jayden Grubbe from Rangers

Forward was selected 65th overall at the 2021 NHL Draft; Edmonton sends a 2023 fifth-round pick to New York

by Press Release @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers have acquired the rights to 2021 third-round draft pick Jayden Grubbe from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round selection.

Later on Wednesday, the Oilers signed Grubbe to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 6-foot-3, 203-pound forward from Calgary scored 39 goals and 95 assists for 134 points in 194 career Western Hockey League regular season games with the Red Deer Rebels. He also recorded four goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 22 career WHL post-season appearances.

The 20-year-old, who was the Rebels captain for the last three seasons, was selected 65th overall by the Rangers in 2021 but did not sign an entry-level deal with the club.

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FUTURE WATCH: Kemp hopes to fill a role on the Oilers blueline

The freshly extended 24-year-old Condors Defender plays a solid and responsible game, which he is striving to pursue at the NHL level

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

EDMONTON, AB - The freshly inked Phil Kemp desires to develop into a solid role player for the Edmonton Oilers.

The 24-year-old defenceman, who was signed to a two-year two-way extension on Tuesday, is coming off his third season as a member of the Bakersfield Condors where he set career highs across the board. In 71 games last year, Kemp recorded 21 points (6G, 15A) along with a team leading plus-12 rating.

With the development arrow pointing up, he hopes an offseason of hard work and a strong rookie camp performance can allow him to supplement an already loaded Oilers roster.

"They've got a lot of horses up and down the lineup," Kemp said in a conversation with 630 CHED's Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now. "It seems like they're just kind of looking for the right role players to complement those horses, and I'm just trying to be a part of that role group."

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: The #Oilers have signed defenceman Phil Kemp to a two-year, two-way contract extension.The 2017 seventh-round draft pick scored 6 goals & 15 assists in 71 games with the @Condors during the 2022-23 season.

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FUTURE WATCH: Bourgault bidding to improve away from the puck

The 2021 first-round pick by Edmonton sees improving the defensive and physical sides of his game as big takeaways from his first full professional season in Bakersfield

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - The trials and tribulations, but also the successes, of a first-year player trying to carve out a name for himself in the professional ranks are what Edmonton Oilers prospect Xavier Bourgault experienced over his first full season with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors.

Ultimately, it's only going to benefit the former first-round pick in the seasons to come.

The L'Islet, Que. product entered his first full professional season in Bakersfield ready to make an impression, having already established his first-round pedigree from being selected 22nd overall by the Oilers at the 2021 NHL Draft.

Video: CONDORS | Xavier Bourgault Feature

Bourgault averaged 1.74 points per game during the regular season in his final year of junior with the Shawinigan Cataractes, who earned a QMJHL title and a berth in the Memorial Cup thanks in large part to his exploits with 104 points (51 goals) across all 73 games of the regular season, playoffs and Memorial Cup in 2021-22.

The 20-year-old's introduction to the pro level this past campaign had its highs and lows, ending with 13 goals and 34 points in 62 AHL games, but shouldn't be summarized as anything else but a success when it comes to a young player taking tangible strides toward adjusting to a new level of hockey.

"Obviously, so much different than junior," Bourgault said. "I think right now, I'm just learning everything about being a pro hockey player on the ice and off the ice. I just want to learn from those guys in the room every game. 

"It's a learning process for me, so just take my game to the next level."

Tweet from @Condors: ���SEASON REWIND���Xavier Bourgault had 34 points this season and recorded a +10, let's take a look at his rookie season in this week's recap.#Year25 | #Condorstown

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RELEASE: Oilers sign Kemp to two-year extension

Defenceman scored six goals and 15 assists in 71 games during the 2022-23 season with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors

by Press Release @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Phil Kemp to a two-year, two-way contract extension with an AAV of $775,000.

Kemp, 24, recently completed his third season with the Oilers AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, compiling career highs in games played (71), goals (6) and assists (15). He ranked third in each category among fellow Condors defenders while leading the blueline group with a plus-minus rating of +12.

Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a graduate of Yale University, Kemp was Edmonton's seventh-round selection (208th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound right-shot defender has skated in 138 AHL regular season games, collecting nine goals and 22 assists for 31 points along with 76 PIMs and a +20 rating.

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BLOG: Oilers have room to improve at even strength

A deeper dive into the Oilers 5-on-5 play in 2022-23 shows a lot of positives, but also areas where the team can be better to help reach their Stanley Cup aspirations

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

EDMONTON, AB - Now that the Oilers season has ended and they enter the offseason as one of the 31 teams chasing next year's Stanley Cup instead of defending it, the review of why and how the Oilers fell short of their goals begins.

The 2022-23 Edmonton Oilers seemed to be on the precipice of a playoff breakthrough after a Western Conference Final trip the year before, followed up with a season of historic dominance by Connor McDavid and the Oilers special teams. Edmonton finished the year with three 100-point scorers with McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman, and Darnell Nurse all setting new career-highs in points.

The Oilers prolific core, situated directly in the prime of their careers, contributed to a power-play which set a new NHL all-time mark for efficiency at 32.4 per cent. The team also seemed to hit their stride at the perfect time, winning 14 of their last 15 games heading into the playoffs. However, after a six-game second round series against the only team in the Western Conference to finish ahead of the Oilers, the exceptional regular season proved to be all for naught.

The record setting power-play continued to click in the postseason, scoring 18 goals in 12 games, but it still wasn't enough to overcome the Pacific Division winners in a best-of-seven series. Since the PP never missed a beat, much of the discourse throughout the playoffs and into the year-end press conference centred around the Oilers team play at 5-on-5, and for good reason. Edmonton was outscored 24-26 with five-a-side on the ice and 25-30 in all even-strength situations over the 12 games of their two series against Los Angeles and Vegas.

It was especially against the Golden Knights where the outcome fell greatly in the Oilers opponents favour with a 15-9 advantage at 5-on-5 in the six games of the series.

Video: THE PANEL | In Conclusion

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FEATURE: Six important weeks

Speaking on 630CHED's Oilers Now, Ken Holland outlined the importance of the next six weeks of the offseason in regards to filling out the Oilers roster with small but impactful moves

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - In a league that's governed and kept orderly through a salary-cap system, it's the little things -- the small-but-impactful signings, the under-the-radar trades and casual-but-crucial conversations between executives in the offseason -- that can have the biggest year-over-year impact in determining an NHL team's success.

From now until the first few days of Free Agency in early July, General Manager & President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland and his management staff are ready to leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding those small but impactful advantages that can push the Edmonton Oilers even closer to their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

"From the time your season's over until the middle of July is key in rebuilding and remaking your team for the upcoming season," Holland said, speaking with Bob Stauffer on 630CHED's Oilers Now.

Holland explained how he and his management staff are hitting high gear as the players go through the quiet stage of their schedule following their second-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, hoping to best position the Blue & Orange for another run next season with some shrewd and smart off-season moves over an important six-week stretch between now and the end of the first week of free agency. 

"We're going to try here over the next six weeks to make moves and make the team the best that we can within a salary cap. Obviously, we've got challenges. Probably half the teams in the League are in the same position as we are right up against it. You've got to make difficult decisions."

Video: THE PANEL | In Conclusion

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FEATURE: Skinner staying stoic in pursuit of improvement

"I'm going to keep this one locked up in my heart and in my mind for the whole summer, and I'm going to use it as fuel to do that extra rep on the bike," he said

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - There were a lot of important lessons learned for rookie netminder Stuart Skinner over his first full NHL season with the Edmonton Oilers.

The biggest one will hang on the wall in his family's basement for years to come.

The 24-year-old couldn't imagine his goalie stick breaking at a worse time than it did during Game 6 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when trying to make a quick pass to Evan Bouchard from his own crease with Los Angeles Kings centre Phillip Danault barreling toward him on a hard forecheck.

The shaft had already been cracked before his attempted pass earlier in the period from a slash by Adrian Kempe, leading to the puck fanning off his blade on his attempted pass and into the path of Danault to bury the easy open-net goal to tie the elimination contest at 4-4 with over 12 minutes remaining.

Tweet from @KevinisInGoal: Everyone ripping on Skinner but his stick broke trying to make that pass, was clearly compromised before but in a spot you wouldn���t really expect it

But the will of the netminder, and his teammates, didn't waver.

Skinner and the Oilers would recover from the forceful judgment shown by the hockey gods after he made the remaining seven saves before Kailer Yamamoto scored the series-clinching goal with 3:03 left in regulation to send Edmonton to the second round. 

Now, that shattered stick will reside in Skinner's possession on the basement wall of his young family's home to serve as a reminder to continue going in the face of resounding adversity; that when you fall, your teammates can help pick you back up. 

"I'm going to find a spot on the wall to hang it up," Skinner said. "I think it's important for me because it's a reminder. It's a reminder that it's life. All of us in this room have experienced it. Things don't go well all the time. You're going to get knocked down.

"When I look at that stick, it shows me perseverance. It shows me that things aren't going to go well, and that's okay. You're going to battle back from that. You're going to work back from that. You're going to get back up and keep fighting, and that's what this team does. It's a reminder of my teammates and how they persevere, and also about how I battle back as well."

Video: RAW | Evander Kane, Stuart Skinner 05.16.23

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BLOG: Oilers offseason of improvement begins now

The Oilers coaching staff and players intend to channel the pain of defeat and the lessons learned from it into their offseason drive to get better

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

EDMONTON, AB - With the Oilers Stanley Cup dreams cut short, the post-season postmortem begins.

The self-assessment starts at the top as Head Coach Jay Woodcroft and his staff look to dissect why their season ended in May and how to continue building towards a squad which ends the year as the last team standing. Despite the Oilers not progressing as far in the playoffs as they did in 2022's Western Conference final run, the belief internally is that the latest iteration of the Oilers was a better team - a belief Connor McDavid reiterated at the Oilers end-of-season press conference.

Still, a trio of 100-point scorers, the league's best offence, the most successful power-play in NHL history, and winning 14 of their last 15 games heading into the playoffs was not enough for the Oilers to achieve their ultimate goal. It's back to the drawing board for Woodcroft and his crew as they look to add to their toolkit going into next season.

"I'm not going to stand up here and say we just have to do what we do, but we have to do it better. I think part of evolving as a team is adding layers to your game," Woodcroft said. "If I were to look at the games [in the Vegas series], I think we had the lead in every one of them, so we were doing some good things as well. There were moments that we think we can handle better. Is that a tactic? Is it individual execution? That's part of the work that we're going to do.

"We're serious about it and as I said, we are in this with our players. This is not pointing fingers in any one way. This is about how do we collectively come up with solutions and find answers."

Video: OILERS TODAY | Season Wrap 05.18.2023

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TALKING POINTS: Holland comments after conclusion of Oilers season

Read the full transcript from the Oilers GM and President of Hockey Operations' year-end media availability on Wednesday following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season

by Staff @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers General Manager & President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland spoke to the media during his end-of-season media availability in the Hall of Fame Room at Rogers Place on Wednesday following the conclusion of their 2022-23 campaign.

The executive debriefed the year that was for the Oilers and touched on a variety of other topics, including the changes that need to be made in the offseason for the club to take another run at the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2023-24, his own personal ambitions in management and more.

Read the full transcript and watch Wednesday's full media availability below.

Video: RAW | Ken Holland 05.17.23

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TALKING POINTS: Woodcroft talks at end-of-season press conference

Read the full transcript from the Oilers head coach's year-end media availability, where he discussed the entire 2022-23 season

by Staff @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon during the team's end-of-season press conferences. 

In the media availability, he discussed a variety of topics including the play of his rookie goaltender Stuart Skinner, the lessons learned from a difficult series against the Vegas Golden Knights, improvements in the team moving forward, and more.

Read the full transcript and watch Wednesday's full media availability below.

Video: RAW | Jay Woodcroft 05.17.23

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FEATURE: Edmonton is where Ekholm wants to make his mark

"Everybody in this team just bleeds to win and that's something that's really awesome to be a part of." - Mattias Ekholm

by Michael Arcuri @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - Bearing the visible scars of the postseason battles won and lost, Mattias Ekholm enters the offseason disappointed but bullish on what his future holds in the Blue & Orange.

The tenacious Oilers defenceman was sporting a wicked cut and blackened eye, all framed by his thick blonde beard, as he discussed his first playoff run as a member of the Oilers at Tuesday's year-end media availability.

"I look a little rough, but yeah, got a high-stick there late in the last game we played, so that was what it was," Ekholm said discussing his shiner. "Nice little gift to go into the summer with, but I'm feeling alright. So it's all good, I guess."

Ekholm was brought in to be the missing piece for an Oilers squad on the brink of a playoff breakthrough, and for the most part he was. After Ekholm was acquired the Oilers sported the league's best record at 18-2-1 including a final 15 games where they suffered just a single overtime loss heading into the playoffs.

However, the cruel reality of the NHL postseason is that only one team will be atop the summit once the final game is played. All scoring records and team accolades are thrown out the window in tournament dictated by both performance and luck. The Oilers led in all six games of their second-round series against the Golden Knights, but between a few untimely bounces and some responsible and opportunistic play by Vegas, they sat in front of the media on Tuesday instead of preparing for a Western Conference Final matchup with the Dallas Stars.

Even though Ekholm and the team fell short of their year-end goals, the Swedish blueliner is optimistic about what his future as a member of the Edmonton Oilers holds.

Video: RAW | Zach Hyman, Mattias Ekholm 05.16.23

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GAME RECAP: Golden Knights 5, Oilers 2 (Game 6)

The Oilers saw their season come to an end after the Golden Knights eliminated them from the playoffs with a 5-2 win on Sunday night

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

EDMONTON, AB - The Edmonton Oilers season ended on Sunday night with the Vegas Golden Knights eliminating them from the second round of the playoffs in six games with a 5-2 victory at Rogers Place.

"Yeah, it hurts. I don't know. It's tough to find words right now," Leon Draisaitl said after the loss. "Obviously, when you start a season, you're in it to win it, and we're at that stage if you don't complete that, then it just feels like a failure or a wasted year almost. So that hurts."

Jonathan Marchessault erased a 2-1 Oilers lead with a natural hat trick in the second period, while Reilly Smith and William Karlsson scored the Knights others in the Western Conference regular-season leader's win.

Connor McDavid and Warren Foegele were on the other end of the only two pucks to find their way by Adin Hill, who turned aside 39 of 41 shots for his third victory of the series in relief of Laurent Brossoit.

"They did a lot of good things. They shut it down. Their third period was clinical," Connor McDavid said. "We still had our looks and didn't find a way to get one past him."

Sunday night's defeat was the first time since the beginning of March that the Oilers had lost two games in a row and puts an end to a season that saw the Oilers record 109 points and boast three 100-point scorers.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game 6 vs VGK 05.14.23

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BLOG: Oilers sticking to their process in face of elimination

"We're heading home, where we feel comfortable and where we've played some good hockey, and we're there to win one game," Coach Jay Woodcroft said

by Jamie Umbach @JamieUmbach /

EDMONTON, AB - When faced with adversity, challenges and setbacks during this 2022-23 season, the Edmonton Oilers have always resolved to their routine and stuck to their process to great benefit.

"I have nothing but unbelievable respect and admiration for our group and how we respond to adversity," Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. "I've seen us, in my year and a half with the team, really respond to some big challenges."

Facing elimination on Sunday night down 3-2 in their second-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights will be the biggest test of their self-mastery since last year's first-round comeback over the Los Angeles Kings, but as the Oilers departed from Vegas on Saturday afternoon bound for Edmonton and their opportunity on home ice in Game 6 to keep their season going in front of their own fans, the routine and the desired result have remained the same.

Take care of the day's business to win the next game.

"Today's order of business is to make sure that we're rested up, that we're in the right frame of mind… the preparation for tomorrow night's game starts today," Woodcroft said. "We'll make a few small adjustments and we'll open the gate and we'll let our guys go. 

"We have full faith in our ability to respond and that's what we expect to do."

Video: RAW | Jay Woodcroft 05.13.23

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GAME RECAP: Golden Knights 4, Oilers 3 (Game 5)

A two-man advantage for Vegas was the Oilers undoing as the Golden Knights picked up a 4-3 win to take a 3-2 series advantage at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

LAS VEGAS, NV - The Sin City sin bin has the Oilers facing elimination come Sunday night at Rogers Place. 

The Golden Knights scored three goals in 1:29 of the second period, including a pair of power-play goals on a two-man advantage, to ultimately earn a 4-3 victory in Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night and stake themselves a 3-2 series advantage. 

"Obviously, it's the 5-on-3 that crushes us," Mattias Ekholm said after the game. "I thought we did a really good job on the PK. We've got to stay limited on the amount of penalties, but at the same time, it's when you have to go down two guys that it's hard to defend.

"Give them credit, they made a good play, but those are the ones that kill you."

"That's playoffs and momentum," Zach Hyman said. "Going from having a fantastic start to the night on the PK, to trying to kill almost two minutes 5-on-3. Then, they gain some confidence off that, right? Yeah, it's tough. That's the way playoffs go. It's hard and you've got to be able to manage those times in the game when you get scored against. Obviously, that four minutes tonight did us in."

The Oilers also saw their fair share of success with the man advantage, with Connor McDavid scoring twice and Zach Hyman notching the other Edmonton goal -- all with a Vegas player in the box. The Golden Knights duo of Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault did the brunt of the damage, combining for a goal and five assists in the evening. 

Stuart Skinner started the game for the Oilers, but for the second time in the series, he did not end it. Jack Campbell replaced the Oilers rookie in the second period and turned away all nine shots he faced in relief.

The Oilers now head back to Edmonton for a Sunday night Game 6 where they will look to tie the series with the Golden Knights and force Game 7 back at T-Mobile Arena.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game 5 at VGK 05.12.23

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RELEASE: McDavid named Hart Trophy finalist

The Oilers captain seeks his third-career League MVP award after running away as the NHL's scoring leader in 2022-23 with 64 goals and 89 assists

by Press Release @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers captain Connor McDavid has been selected as one of the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the NHL announced on Friday.

Given annually "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," McDavid is seeking the third MVP award of his career (2016-17, 2020-21), having already captured the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy this season as the League's leading scorer with 64 goals and the Art Ross Trophy as its top point producer with 153 points -- the highest total since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.

Video: ARI@EDM: McDavid roofs OT winner for his 60th

McDavid is a five-time finalist for the Hart, having only missed making the final three twice over his career since first being nominated for the award in 2016-17. The 26-year-old can become the fifth player to take home the award at least three times within his first eight NHL seasons after Wayne Gretzky (8), Bobby Clarke (3), Bobby Orr (3) and Alex Ovechkin (3).

The other two finalists for this year's Hart Trophy are Boston Bruins right-winger David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers left-winger Matthew Tkachuk.

The winner will be announced during the 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 26.

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RELEASE: Nurse suspended one game

The defenceman has received an automatic one-game suspension under rule 46.21, Instigating in Final Five Minutes of Regulation, the NHL Department of Player Safety announce

by Press Release @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - Defenceman Darnell Nurse has received an automatic one-game suspension under rule 46.21, Instigating in Final Five Minutes of Regulation, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Thursday.

Additionally, Head Coach Jay Woodcroft has been fined $10,000.

Nurse was assessed a minor penalty for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct after scrapping with Golden Knights defenceman Nicolas Hague with 50 seconds remaining in Wednesday's 4-1 victory for the Oilers in Game 4 of their second-round series.

Video: RAW | Darnell Nurse 05.11.23

As per NHL rule 46.21, "any player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident."

Nurse will subsequently miss Game 5 of the series between the Oilers and Golden Knights on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.

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BLOG: Oilers ready to step up in Nurse's absence

"I don't think we should be without him, but if that is the case, then someone else will step in and do a great job," Leon Draisaitl said

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

LAS VEGAS, NV - With Darnell Nurse slated to miss Friday's Game 5 in Las Vegas, the Oilers believe they are prepared and experienced enough to handle his absence. 

It won't be an easy task. Edmonton has a lot of minutes to fill now that Nurse and his blueline leading 23:23 per game are unavailable due to a one-game suspension for his late instigator penalty stemming from his fight with Nicolas Hague in Game 4.

The infraction, which came in the final 50 seconds of the contest on Wednesday, was a bit of a surprise to Nurse who fended off a bevy of wild haymakers from Hague before he was able to turn the tide and leave his sparring partner leaking onto both his and Nurse's jersey.

Despite the pair of willing combatants, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Thursday that they had reviewed and upheld the Oilers defender's one-game ban. The fighting major was certainly warranted, but an instigator penalty being assessed caught Nurse a little off guard.

"Yeah, I was surprised. You go through the whole sequence of events, being asked multiple times to fight by him and even multiple times before for the puck drop during the sequence of the play. It's a fight that takes place between, I think two people that were willing to fight. I didn't go in there and jump him by any means," Nurse said. "His gloves were off first, I didn't throw the first punch. I think he threw the first eight punches. It was a little bit surprising to get that extra on it."

Video: RAW | Darnell Nurse 05.11.23

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OILERS PLUS: The Drop Episode 17 chronicles Oilers milestones

Now streaming on Oilers+, the latest all-access episode centres on major milestones for Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid and Demers as the regular season winds down

by Staff @EdmontonOilers /

EDMONTON, AB - There were some remarkable milestones reached during the final weeks of the regular season by a few of the Edmonton Oilers.

In the latest episode of The Drop, available exclusively on Oilers+, come along and celebrate three of those major milestones in Connor McDavid reaching the 150-point mark, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins cracking 100 points for the first time in his career, and Jason Demers getting the opportunity to suit up in his 700th NHL game.

Watch: Youtube Video

Episode 17: Milestones takes an inside look at each player's personal achievement, how they got there, and how their teammates celebrated the accomplishment, including a special 100-point cake for Nugent-Hopkins presented in the dressing room after he accomplished the feat in Anaheim.

Follow along in the latest episode with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, including a glimpse at Klim Kostin's tomfoolery and a look behind the shoot during team photo day.

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GAME RECAP: Oilers 4, Golden Knights 1 (Game 4)

The Oilers tied their second-round series with the Golden Knights in a fiery 4-1 victory at Rogers Place on Wednesday

by Michael Arcuri @arcurimike /

EDMONTON, AB - If Wednesday night's contest is a preview of how the final games in this series are going to go, it's sure to be a feisty one. 

Over 111 minutes of penalties were dolled out in Wednesday's 4-1 victory for the Edmonton Oilers over the Golden Knights in Game 4 at Rogers Place, with Vegas holding the lion's share with 64 PIMs on the night. 

The contest was the rebound game everyone in the Oilers locker room expected. It seemed as if the home side was first to every puck battle, and the Golden Knights could not keep up with the Oilers physicality in the game. Noticeably, Edmonton's transition play was night and day compared to Game 3, and it completely negated the Golden Knights game plan of forcing the Oilers to defend deep behind Stuart Skinner.

"I thought we executed our game plan well," Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. "We have a lot of really good hockey players that like to play fast. I thought the pace of our game was where it needed to be. I thought we got on their D and I thought we got on their goaltender."

Speaking of Skinner, the Oilers goaltender delivered a bounce-back performance roughly 48 hours after getting pulled this past Monday in Game 3. The 24-year-old Calder Trophy finalist was sharp all night, turning away 25 of 26 Golden Knights attempts in the game. 

Supplying the offence for the Blue & Orange was Evan Bouchard, Nick Bjugstad, Mattias Ekholm, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- with the latter two all scoring their first of the series. Nicolas Roy scored the Golden Knights' lone goal with a solid solo effort in the third period, lifting a shot from in tight by Skinner for his first of the playoffs. 

Edmonton will now head to Vegas for a pivotal Game 5 matchup on Friday at T-Mobile Arena. 

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game 4 vs VGK 05.10.23

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