May 21st, 2024

Boeser, Lindholm score twice, Canucks hold off Oilers for 4-3 win in Game 3

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on May 13, 2024.

Vancouver Canucks' J.T. Miller (9), Brock Boeser (6) and Elias Lindholm (23) celebrate a goal during second period second-round NHL playoff action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Edmonton, Sunday, May 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – He’s played just six NHL playoff games, but Arturs Silovs is already earning a reputation for stepping up in big moments.

The Vancouver Canucks’ rookie goalie put in another impressive performance on Sunday, making 42 saves and backstopping his team to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers in second-round playoff action.

The victory gave Vancouver a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven matchup.

“The kid has given us game,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said of the netminder. “It’s a big stage and he’s not blinking. He’s coming in every day and he’s working hard.”

Silovs withstood another late barrage Sunday when the Oilers, down 4-2, opted to pull goalie Calvin Pickard in favour of an extra attacker with 3:23 on the game clock.

Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch did everything he could to keep superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the ice, including calling a time out with 2:39 to go.

The persistence finally paid off with 76 seconds left when Evan Bouchard launched a long bomb on net and the puck bounced off Silovs’ glove and in.

The 23-year-old Latvian goalie faced 36 shots over the second and third periods, and allowed just two goals – one from Draisaitl on a power play early in the second and Bouchard’s tally with the extra man late in the third.

Silovs was characteristically unfazed about his performance.

“I just felt confident,” he said, adding that his teammates supported him in Vancouver’s 5-4 win to open the series last Wednesday. “So I had to have them today. Everyone’s resilient, blocking shots. Really high scoring chances they had and our guys managed to block a lot of them. So credit to them, too.”

Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist for Vancouver, and Elias Lindholm scored twice. Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller each contributed a pair of assists.

The Oilers used their league-leading power play to secure goals from Mattias Ekholm and Draisaitl, going 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

“I thought we were the better team, for the most part,” Draisaitl said. “In my eyes, it should have resulted in a win, but that’s not the way hockey works, sometimes. We just regroup and get ready for Game 4.”

Edmonton created a lot of chances, Knoblauch said, and the team will have to keep that up as the series continues.

“Eventually the pucks are going to start going in a little more,” the coach said. “Tonight, having three, that’s enough to win, especially during the playoffs. You look at the amount of opportunities that we have, we just have to be persistent and continue to push. We’ll get some more breaks.”

Stuart Skinner stopped 11 of 15 shots for the Oilers before he was replaced by Pickard to start the third period. Pickard had three saves in his NHL playoff debut.

Knoblauch wouldn’t commit to starting Skinner in Game 4 on Tuesday, but said his No. 1 goalie will be back.

“We’ll see what he’s got in the future,” the coach said. “Whether that’s Game 4 or Game 5, we’ll be seeing Stu again. And I have no doubt that he’ll respond and play well.”

After going down 1-0 early in the first period, the Canucks rallied with three goals in less than 10 minutes.

The first came on a power play 8:45 into the first when Hughes sliced a past to Boeser and the winger sent a long shot sailing through traffic. Lindholm tipped it in and levelled the score at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the post-season.

Vancouver took the lead midway through the opening frame after the Oilers left Boeser wide open in the faceoff circle. Miller sent the sniper a pass and Boeser ripped a shot past Skinner at the 13:18 mark.

Boeser boosted the Canucks’ lead to 3-1 just over five minutes later. He picked a puck off Warren Foegele near the boards, took a couple of strides toward the net and buried his second goal of the night and seventh of the playoffs.

“I feel pretty confident,” Boeser said after the game. “But I think it just comes with trying to play the right way and really just focusing on the little details in our structure. I’m just trying to do anything I can to help our team win. And it’s always nice when the goals go in.”

INS AND OUTS

Canucks winger Nils Hoglander was a healthy scratch and depth forward Phillip Di Giuseppe missed the game for personal reasons. Hoglander was replaced in the lineup by Linus Karlsson while Nils Aman took Di Giuseppe’s spot.

Connor Brown replaced injured forward Adam Henrique in the Oilers’ lineup.

STILL STREAKING

Draisaitl has points in all eight of Edmonton’s playoff games this season, with seven goals and 10 assists across the stretch. Bouchard extended his point streak to six games (three goals, six assists).

UP NEXT

Game 4 is Tuesday in Edmonton. The series returns to Vancouver for Game 5 on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2024.

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