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Boeser, Lindholm score 2 each as Canucks beat Oilers 4-3 to take 2-1 lead in West playoff series


EDMONTON, Alberta — Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist, Elias Lindholm also scored twice, and the Vancouver Canucks held on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller each had two assists, and rookie goalie Arturs Silovs stopped 42 shots for the Canucks.

Mattias Ekholm, Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard scored for the Oilers. Stuart Skinner stopped 11 of 15 shots before he was replaced by Calvin Pickard to start the third period. Pickard finished with three saves in his NHL playoff debut.

Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night back here in Edmonton.

Edmonton’s league-leading power play was 2 for 4, and Vancouver was 2 for 3.

The Oilers’ potent power play got to work early in the first period after Boeser was sent off for slashing. After Evander Kane’s shot was blocked in front of the Vancouver net, the puck bounced out to Ekholm, who fired it past Silovs to put Edmonton up 5:37 into the game.

Ekholm now has goals in three straight playoff games — and is the first Oilers defenseman to achieve the feat since Paul Coffey in 1985.

The Canucks replied with a power-play tally of their own at 8:45. Stationed at the goal line, Hughes sliced a past to Boeser, who sent a long shot sailing through traffic. Lindholm tipped it in to tie the score at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the postseason.

Vancouver took the lead midway through the first after the Oilers left Boeser wide open in the faceoff circle. Miller sent him a pass and Boeser ripped a shot past Skinner with 6:42 to go in the period.

Boeser boosted the Canucks’ lead to 3-1 just over five minutes later. Her picked the 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.

Edmonton nearly cut the deficit to a one in the closing seconds of the first when Derek Ryan rang a shot off the post.

Oilers fans celebrated early in the second when it appeared Corey Perry scored. Silovs swept the puck off the goal line but Perry celebrated in front of the net. After review, officials determined there was no goal.

The Oilers made it 3-2 on a man advantage at 3:36 of the second when Draisaitl sent a sharp-angle shot into Silovs’ pad and it bounced in for the German forward’s seventh of the playoffs.

The Canucks regained the two-goal advantage with 2:25 remaining in the middle period. Miller blasted a long shot toward the Oilers’ net and Lindholm picked it up, kicking the puck to his stick at the bottom of the slot, then shovelling a backhanded shot into the Edmonton net.

Edmonton opted to swap goalies for the third period, with Pickard taking over.

He wasn’t tested by the Canucks until 8:05 left in the period when he turned away Nikita Zadorov’s snap shot.

Edmonton pulled the goalie in favor of an extra skater with 3:23 left on the clock and pressed its top scorers into action. Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch got his players a brief rest when he called a time out with 2:39 to go.

The persistence finally paid off with 1:16 left when Bouchard launched a long shot on net and the puck bounced off Silovs’ glove and in.

Knoblauch employed some late gamesmanship after the goal, putting Skinner in net to get his players a few extra seconds of breathing time. He pulled the starter again with a minute left, but Edmonton couldn’t get the equalizer.

Draisaitl has points in all eight of Edmonton’s playoff games this season, with seven goals and 10 assists across the stretch. Bouchard had an assist on Draisaitl’s goal, extending his point streak to six games (two goals, six assists).

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://apnews.com/hub/nhl



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