Vancouver Canucks defeat Edmonton Oilers 5-4 with third-period ...

9 May 2024

The Vancouver Canucks managed to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 in Game 1 of the NHL Playoffs’ second round.

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The team pulled off a stunning comeback victory after struggling in the first two periods. The Oilers entered the third period with a 4-2 lead, but the Canucks managed to score three times before the game’s end. Canucks right winger Conor Garland scored the winning tie-breaking goal with less than six minutes left in the game.

The match marked the first time the Oilers and Canucks have faced each other in the playoffs since 1992.

Game 2 will take place Friday in Vancouver.

Vancouver police said they would be repeating their game plan from Round 1, flooding the downtown core with officers as they look to keep celebrations family-friendly.

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3:36 Large police presence will be on hand for Canucks game

Const. Tania Visintin again urged anyone who does plan to drink to do it at home or at a licensed bar or restaurant. Police issued 20 to 30 liquor-related tickets per home game during Round 1, she said.

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“Public intoxication also contributes to very rowdy, risky behaviour like climbing statues, fights, a lot more violence,” she said.

“This behaviour is dangerous, it incites the crowd and it contributes to further disorder. So if we see this type of behaviour or we see anybody drinking in public we will take enforcement.”

1:50 NHL playoff rivalries ramp up between Edmonton and Vancouver

The public was urged to use transit if travelling downtown. Metro Vancouver Transit Police also warned people to expect crowds.

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“It will be busy, there will be thousands of people,” Const. Amanda Steed said. “So just remind yourself of that when you are planning your trip.”

Family-friendly watch parties took place Wednesday at Social Heart Plaza in Delta, the Port Coquitlam Community Centre, Burnaby’s Rosemary Brown Recreation Centre and Maple Ridge’s Greg Moore Youth Centre.

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The City of Vancouver announced Wednesday it will finally host outdoor public viewing parties for the playoffs, but not until Sunday’s away game in Edmonton.

2:07 City of Vancouver announces viewing party plans for Canucks games

Canucks gear up

While the Canucks won the Pacific Division this year, they went into their match-up with Edmonton as heavy underdogs, at least according to the vast majority of sports analysts and the betting markets.

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The Oilers battled back from a terrible start of the season to nearly catch the Canucks in the points race. The team boasts a roster of lethal forwards including Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman.

“Not to build them up too much, but they’re a hell of a team, there’s some strengths they have that we have to make sure that we’re clean on,” head coach Rick Tocchet said Wednesday before the start of the game.

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“They’re very good at attacking. They’re one of the better teams at taking the puck to the net.”

Despite that, Tocchet said the team wasn’t letting the “U” word get in its head, noting the team defied many analysts’ low expectations in the regular season.

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“If we felt we were at the start of the year underdogs, this and that, I don’t think we’d be in the position we are,” he said.

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“I think guys came into the season like, ‘Hey, we’re a good hockey team, and that’s the way we approach it.'”

Tocchet also sought to dispel persistent rumours that star centre Elias Pettersson, currently grappling with a goal drought, has an injury.

“I think he’s fine,” he said.

“I know some people are speculating we’re hiding an injury, we don’t lie here. So, for you guys who want to make it something, he’s got a broken wrist or a broken back, he doesn’t. He’s just a little sick.”

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Pettersson missed practice on Tuesday, reportedly with a cold.

The young Swede, for his part, said his game plan for Wednesday came down to playing off his “instincts.”

4:57 The voice of Canucks playoff fever

The Canucks beat the Oilers in all four regular-season matchups, but no one on the team said they would be taking anything for granted before the game.

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“That’s the regular season. Obviously, we know we can beat them, but playoffs are different, that’s in the past,” Pettersson said.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to do us and do what we can to stop them.”

Nikita Zadorov, the Canucks’ massive Russian defender, said the Canucks’ plan was to stick to the same defensive mindset that helped them close out the Nashville Predators in six games.

He also said they’d need to keep disciplined or face Edmonton’s deadly powerplay.

“Stay out of the box and turnovers, I think those two main things,” Zadorov said.

In the meantime, he said the club was thriving on the playoff energy.

“Nothing beats the playoff atmosphere in Canada. We saw the first game here I had tears during the national anthem,” he said.

“Everybody has flags on their cars, and my kids in school, everybody dressed in Canucks jerseys. So it’s definitely a different atmosphere in Canada compared to the United States.”

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