Instant Reaction: Canucks pull off remarkable comeback to beat Oilers 5-4 in game one

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game, and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below!
All week long, we’ve been talking about how important it is for the Canucks to not give the Oilers’ power play many opportunities to work. Edmonton went 9-for-20 in the first round against the LA Kings, and ultimately, that made the difference in the series.
With so much importance on staying out of the box, Ian Cole jumped the gun on a line change and gave the Oilers an early chance to work on the power play.
And as expected, the Canucks’ were forced to pay as Zach Hyman made it 1-0.
Cole had a nice read earlier on the penalty kill, but him not being anywhere near anyone in white as the Oilers score this goal isn’t a good look.
The Canucks brought the intensity back at evens strength, hounding the Oilers’ defencemen on the forecheck. Conor Garland found himself on a breakaway that would have tied things up, but Stuart Skinner stood tall in the Edmonton net.
As expected, it became very evident early on that the Oilers were going to take every opportunity they could to finish their checks on Quinn Hughes.
It also became very evident early on that Ian Cole wasn’t having his best night. After the blunders noted above that directly led to the Oilers’ opening goal, Cole made another bad play that ended with the puck in the back of the Canucks’ net.
2-0 Oilers.
To be honest, aside from those blunders from Cole, it was a good period for the home team. The Canucks consistently gave the Oilers’ defence trouble on the forecheck, and created some solid chances. The Oilers are a very good team and are going to make their opponent pay when mistakes are made. It was as simple as that in the first period.
The Miller line was phenomenal matching up against Connor McDavid’s line in the first period, and Rick Tocchet went right back to them for the first shift of the second period. Like they did for much of the first, they spent most of their time in the Edmonton end. On the ensuing shift, it was Dakota Joshua who got the Canucks on the board.
This play simply doesn’t happen without Elias Lindholm winning the offensive zone draw against Leon Draisaitl. 2-1.
The Canucks got their first power play of the game after Stuart Skinner played the puck out of the trapezoid. The Canucks’ power play was fine against Nashville, and is almost certainly going to need to be a factor if the Canucks want to win this series. They got some looks on this one, but didn’t strike on their one shot, which came off the stick of Elias Pettersson. The real issue was the Oilers’ PK ended up getting the best chances during the Canucks’ two minute power play.
The Canucks were hands down the better team for the first 13 minutes of the second period, and then a Cody Ceci point shot deflected off of Ian Cole.
The Canucks were the better team in this game for every second, except for the ones that Ian Cole was on the ice.
The Oilers’ next goal couldn’t be pinned on Cole, however. And unfortunately, it came just seconds after the Ceci goal, giving the Oilers a 4-1 lead in the blink of an eye.
That’s one that goaltender Arturs Silovs, who has been exceptional at covering the bottom of the net for as long as he’s played the position, will want back.
The Canucks got one back when they once again got in on the forecheck and made life difficult on the Oilers’ breakout crew. Elias Lindholm banked a puck in off of Darnell Nurse to make it 4-2.
Another good shift from Garland’s line in this game.
After 40 minutes of play, the Canucks found themselves down by a pair. The Canucks were outshooting, outpossessing, out-everythinging the Oilers, really. In everything except for goals, of course.
The Canucks continued to press in the third, and eventually broke through after Brock Boeser rifled a puck down low that JT Miller did an exceptional job of deflecting home.
Just like that, the Canucks were down by just a goal with over ten minutes to go.
Elias Pettersson drew a tripping penalty on Dylan Holloway, giving the Canucks a power play at a very key moment in the game. The power play got some more quality looks, but the Edmonton penalty kill managed to kill off their 15th straight penalty.
It didn’t matter much, however, because Nikita Zadorov continued his phenomenal playoff run, scoring his third goal of the playoffs.
For the longest time, the Oilers were bending but not breaking, but after this goal, it sure felt like they were broken. Stuart Skinner specifically, who let in his fifth goal of the game on this Conor Garland five hole shot.
Just like that, the Canucks were on top in this one.
The Canucks held on to win, and took game one by a final score of 5-4.
What. A. Comeback.
Perhaps the most important thing we saw tonight was JT Miller’s line and his Canucks teammates managing to neutralize Connor McDavid at even strength. Arturs Silovs probably wanted one of those goals back, but all in all, he did what he needed to do to get the Canucks the win. There were plenty of positives with the way the Canucks played tonight, and there’s no need to overanalyze it right now.
This is instant reaction, after all! And my instant reaction tonight is that this game was thoroughly entertaining. And that a one game lead for the Canucks is absolutely massive, of course.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
Be sure to tune into the Rink Wide Vancouver post game show LIVE on YouTube moments after the final horn!

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