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Canucks overcome 3-goal deficit to stun Oilers 5-4 in Game 1

Edmonton. Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game One

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 8: Conor Garland #8 and Casey DeSmith #29 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrate the Vancouver Canucks win against the Edmonton Oilers in Game One of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 8, 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-4. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Conor Garland broke a tie with 5:34 left and the Vancouver Canucks overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the second-round playoff series.

Garland took a short pass from Dakota Joshua, faked a slap shot at the right circle and slipped a wrist shot between goalie Stuart Skinner’s legs from a sharp angle for Vancouver’s second goal in 39 seconds and third in 4:48.

“Everybody wants to be in that moment,” Garland said. “We understand when you have to execute and when you dig a hole like that, you got to execute if you want to get back in the game. And I think that was the biggest thing in the third, that we just executed and buried our chances.”

Game 2 is Friday night in Vancouver.

Elias Lindholm got the comeback started with 2:59 left in the second period. J.T. Miller cut it to 4-3 at 9:38 of the third, and Nikita Zadorov tied it with 6:13 remaining.

“Maybe four or five months ago, or maybe last year, you might have seen some frustration, some laziness or when something frustrated us, we take a bad penalty,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “If you look at it, when they’re 4-1, I thought we still stayed disciplined. We weren’t pinching, we weren’t selling the farm. And I think that’s maturity of the year, how we’ve kind of built our resolve.”

Joshua scored early in the second period and assisted on Lindhom’s goal.

“The belief is always there,” Joshua said. “Just to know that you got to keep playing to the end, anything can happen.”

Arturs Silovs stopped 14 shots for the Canucks.

Zach Hyman scored twice for Edmonton to take the playoffs goals lead with nine. Mattias Ekholm and Cody Ceci also scored, and Skinner made 19 saves.

“They’re a good team and they were doing everything they could to come back and we were doing everything we could to hold on to the lead,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who was limited to an assist. “That happens in the playoffs. You try to hold on to lead and sometimes you’re maybe a little too passive.”

After getting just five shots on goal in the first period, Vancouver outshot Edmonton 19-7 in the last two periods.

“It’s a resilient group,” Tocchet said. “Sometimes we’re not pretty. Sometimes things happen. But I just feel like it’s a real close group. And this is when you need a close group, these situations. And I thought everyone had something to contribute tonight. There were no passengers.”

Edmonton was coming off a six-day break after beating Los Angeles in five games in the first round. Vancouver eliminated Nashville in Game 6 on Friday night.