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McDavid Leads Stars Past Oilers in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals – Hockey Writers – NHL News

The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 in double overtime to take the first game of their Western Conference Finals series. Connor McDavid gave the Warriors his third playoff game.

After scoring for the first time as the Stars beat the Oilers 7-3, Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring 58 seconds into the second and ninth of the playoffs. With it, he extended his point streak to 13 games and became the fifth player in NHL history to record a postseason-opening point streak of 13-plus games.

Then, at 4:17, after a great save by Stuart Skinner, McDavid and Zach Hyman burst into a 2-on-1 with McDavid leading the way. McDavid attempted a one-time pass to Hyman, but a quick stick from veteran Chris Tanev broke it up. Unfortunately for the Stars, you just tipped it. Hyman caught the ball again, made a quick deke and rolled it to Jake Oettinger for a 2-0 lead.

The Stars got it back less than two minutes later when Brett Kulak passed to his teammate Jamie Benn. Benn then slid the puck into the crease and Tyler Seguin finished with his fourth game of the playoffs.

The score stood at 2-1 late in the third period when Seguin was double-dunked for the second time of the night after a deflection from Darnell Nurse left him staring at an open net. He was left uncovered by Vincent Desharnais, all he had to do was run out the clock to tie the game at two and send Game 1 into overtime.

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Hub

The game wouldn't be over early in the extra frame, but the Oilers' penalty kill was big again for the second straight game, with two kills — this time by McDavid. Some great saves by Skinner, along with key blocks and clearances pushed the Oilers to four minutes and their fifth kill of the night. They have now killed 35 of 38 penalties this postseason for a 92.1 percent success rate.

It remained scoreless in the first overtime as both strikers refused to let the game end with Skinner and Oettinger making several show-stoppers – none more so than the Oettinger/Tanev stick on McDavid.

But less than a minute into the second overtime, McDavid got the puck behind Oettinger on a deflection after solid work from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evan Bouchard to close the gap.

Both goaltenders had a solid game as Oettinger finished with 35 saves and Skinner on the other hand had 31.

Game notes

Nine of the Stars' 11 games in the conference finals since 2020 have been close games (four GP; 1-3) or overtime (five GP; 3-2).

Draisaitl scored his 40th playoff goal. He became the seventh player in NHL history to reach the mark in 62 or fewer games. Others: Mario Lemieux (46 GP), Brett Hull (54 GP), Maurice Richard (54 GP), Wayne Gretzky (56 GP), Jari Kurri (58 GP) and Mike Bossy (59 GP).

McDavid recorded 20 assists in a playoff year for the second time in his career (and 23 in 2022). He joined Gretzky (six), Nikita Kucherov (two), Doug Gilmour (two) and Mark Messier (two) as the fifth player in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to accomplish the feat multiple times.

Seguin became the seventh player in NHL history to score in a conference final/semifinal at the age of 30 or older, following Dainius Zubrus (1997 to 2016), Brendan Shanahan (1988 to 2002), Eric Desjardins (1989 to 2000), Bryan Trottier (1976 to 1992), Ted Lindsay (1945 to 1965) and Hec Kilrea (1927 to 1939).

The two teams will meet again on Saturday, May 25, at the American Airlines Center.

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