VANCOUVER, B.C. – "Was there ever a question?"

Oilers captain Connor McDavid said it best after Friday's OT victory when asked if he ever doubted his "ride-or-die" teammate Leon Draisaitl's ability to suit up and perform in Game 2.

The superstar forward was listed as a game-time decision by Head Coach Kris Knoblauch ahead of the second matchup between the Oilers and Canucks at Rogers Arena after missing portions of Game 1 on Wednesday and not participating in Thursday's practice or the morning skate.

He hit the ice for pre-game warmup, though, felt good enough to give it a go and proceeded to deliver yet another marquee playoff performance, scoring once and assisting on the team's other three goals in their 4-3 sudden-death final that sends the series back to Edmonton knotted at one game apiece.

"He's an amazing player," said McDavid, who produced the same stat line as Draisaitl in the thrilling win. "One of the best players in the world... the best player in the world on a lot of nights, and tonight was one of those nights."

Quite the performance for a player whose coach wasn't even sure he'd have him in the lineup.

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

"We didn't know he was going to play until after he came off from the warmup," Knoblauch admitted. "I took a little peek on him, and I kind of felt like he was going to play, just seeing him skate during the warmup. When he got off, he confirmed that he was ready to play, and then, boy, did he ever play."

Despite his undisclosed ailment, Draisaitl logged by far his highest time on ice of the playoffs at 27:05, which was the most he's played in a game in more than a year. The last time he exceeded that mark was April 29, 2023 when he logged 27:21 in Edmonton's series-deciding Game 6 win over Los Angeles.

"For the most part I felt good," he said when asked how his body held up on Friday, adding he and the team were "smart about" protecting him from any further aggravation.

Rather than having him centre his own line, Knoblauch opted to reunite Draisaitl with McDavid in Game 2 and give him some time on the wing to ease the workload of playing pivot all night.

"Mostly just to protect Leon and not have him play as heavy minutes in the middle," the bench boss said of the tweak. "(Playing centre is) a little more physical, a little more demanding on the body."

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

Knoblauch clarified that once he saw how well Draisaitl was performing, those concerns subsided.

"There was no needing to protect him the way he played tonight," he said. "And the way that line was playing, we weren't going to put him back to centre. We'd just continue playing him there."

The five-man unit of McDavid, Draisaitl and Zach Hyman up front, with Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard on the back end, accounted for all four goals and 11 of the 12 total points recorded by Oilers players on Friday.

"There were a lot of storylines to this game, but the top storyline was McDavid and Draisaitl were terrific tonight," Canucks Head Coach Rick Tocchet said of Edmonton's dynamic duo.

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

Vancouver prevented McDavid from recording a shot on goal for the first time in his 55 career playoff games on Wednesday, but the 2024 Hart Memorial Trophy finalist responded in a big way 48 hours later with a four-point night to match his teammate.

"That's what makes him probably the best player to ever play, right?" Draisaitl said of McDavid's game that also included five shots, 28:12 time on ice, and an absurd 18-1 scoring chance ratio for their line at even strength, per Natural Stat Trick.

"It's his will to push himself to do more and to be better, and there's no one out there like him."