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The Edmonton Oilers Western Conference Game 1 Ends with Memorable Goal

What an end to Game 1 of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference Finals between the Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars. The Oilers top players showed up in Game 1, and what a way to end it. 32 seconds into the second overtime, the sixth longest Edmonton Oiler playoff victory in franchise history, Connor McDavid scores the goal to win it.

Connor McDavid with Game 1 Overtime Winning Goal

As we referenced, the Edmonton Oilers top players definitely showed up in Game 1 of their Western Conference final matchup against the Stars. After another big Edmonton Oilers penalty kill in the first period last night, Head Coach Kris Knoblauch decided to load up a line. He sent McDavid out there with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. The result? A Leon Draisaitl goal, with assists to McDavid and Brett Kulak. This was significant as it marked the 13th game in a row to start the 2024 playoffs that Draisaitl had recorded a point. That is tied for the fifth longest streak ever, and just one more game at 14 would put him in a tie for second. It really goes to show Draisaitl’s dominance, along with his partner in crime, number 97. Shown below is the NHL’s all-time leading points-per-game players (minimum 60 games played) in playoff history.

Rank Name PPG
1 Wayne Gretzky 1.84
2 Leon Draisaitl 1.65
3 Mario Lemieux 1.61
4 Connor McDavid 1.58
5 Nathan MacKinnon 1.3

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are Ultra-Elite Playoff Goal and Point Producers

Connor McDavid’s Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals stands out for reasons other than the game-winning goal he scored. In the first period, perhaps a result of all the time the team spent on the penalty kill, but Connor McDavid only played 4:45 minutes of ice time. The one upside of this, besides the Oilers keeping it tied at 0-0, was it would conserve energy for the Oiler great. There are some unconfirmed rumours that McDavid may be suffering from a some of ailment. Remember he did miss three games late in the regular season. However, McDavid has been coming through for his team.

Despite his goal being only the third of the playoffs for him, his league dominating 20 assists through 13 games is the reason no one’s concerned. McDavid’s best playoffs came back in 2022. That is when he had 10 goals, 23 assists, and 33 points, all of which career-highs, in just 16 games. Furthermore, the 33 points is good for a third place tie with Brayden Point from 2020 for most points in a single post-season amongst active players. And even though the Oilers didn’t play in the finals, it also led the post-season in scoring that year. Draisaitl finished second with 32.

The Oilers Big Guns are Firing

As of today, the Edmonton Oilers are all over the leading scorers of the playoffs. McDavid and Draisaitl again find themselves in the top-two spots. If the Dallas Stars are unable to slow down McDavid and the rest of Oilers top scorers, they might be in for a quicker than expected Western Conference finals series. Below is the top-five league leaders and their 2024 playoff point total.

Draisaitl 25
McDavid 23
Bouchard 21
Nugent-Hopkins 17
Tkachuk 16

The Edmonton Oilers Unsung Hero Thus Far in 2024 Playoffs

Even though McDavid’s ice time may have been down after the first, he ended up playing 27:04. Hardly noticeable was any lesser ice time that may or may not have been given in the first period. And the Oilers as a team continue to do well on the penalty kill going five-for-five last night. That moves them to an incredible 92.5% clip in the post-season. Again, McDavid had an impact on his team, but this time one where he nearly cost his team the game. Early in overtime, McDavid high sticked Matt Duchene causing a four minute power play for the Stars.

Luckily for McDavid and the Oilers they could not take advantage. Although they were extremely lucky, as Jason Robertson hit the post not once but twice on the extended power play. Maybe it was destiny for McDavid and his Oilers to come out on top in Game 1. It almost came to fruition late in the first overtime period. McDavid found himself unchecked in-front of the Stars net. However, an absolute thievery by goaltender Jake Oettinger as McDavid made a move to try to shoot it into the empty part of the net low. But Oettinger made an incredible save to extend the game at the time. McDavid did eventually get the winner, but in the next period. In any sense, it was McDavid’s performance, just like the rest of the playoffs, and from year’s past, that continues to be a favourable headline for the Edmonton Oilers fanbase.

Notes on Injuries Impact the Edmonton Oilers as they Square off vs Dallas

The Edmonton Oilers were incredibly healthy in the regular season. And their depth is very important to their success. The Oilers need guys not named McDavid and Draisaitl to carry them through long stretches of the action. For example, last night in the first period when they were killing off those penalties. Ryan McLeod was skating well for the Oilers in the first.

In addition, depth is also important, because of how deep the Dallas forward group is this season. In order for the Oilers depth guys to keep pace with the chaos of the playoff battles, they need good rhythm. They do need regular shifts, no matter how infrequent they may be for some of the depth guys. Other guys who played well include Sam Carrick, and Evander Kane had an eventful first period. Finally, on the injury front. Adam Henrique remains banged up, thus not in the lineup. Additionally, Corey Perry has found himself on the outside looking in, as Knoblauch not wanting to mess the chemistry of a winning lineup perhaps. In contrast, Roope Hintz remains a major Stars injury. Hintz is a dominant two-way player, who scored 30 goals and added 35 assists in the regular season. Furthermore, games like last night were an example of the Oilers taking advantage of his absence. Game 2 of the Western Conference final series goes Saturday at 7:30 from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Main photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


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