The Edmonton Oilers’ season ended Sunday night at Rogers Place with a 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas wins the best-of-seven 4-2. They’ll play either Dallas or Seattle in the Western Conference Final.
“There were two teams that were taking swings at each other in every game,” Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft said.
“It feels like a failure or a wasted year almost,” Leon Draisaitl said after the loss.
The Golden Knights took an early lead when the puck bounced in front to Reilly Smith, who snapped a shot past Stuart Skinner 24 seconds into the game.
Connor McDavid provided a quick response, 31 seconds later, when his shot from the right wing eluded Adin Hill.
Just 1:48 after that, Derek Ryan centered the puck to Warren Foegele, who connected for his second of the post-season.
Vegas came out strong in the second and went ahead on a pair of goals by Jonathan Marchessault in the first eight minutes of the period.
“I thought we played a good first period,” Woodcroft said. “I thought in the second period there were situations we could handle better–specifically around our net–and I thought we pushed very hard in the third period but it didn’t fall for us tonight.”
With the teams playing four-on-four late in the second, Marchessault completed the natural hat trick with a shot from the right side, making it 4-2 Golden Knights after two.
Jack Campbell replaced Skinner (13 saves) to start the third.
“They did a lot of good things. They shut it down–their third period was clinical,” McDavid said. “We still had our looks and didn’t find a way to get one past him.”
“This is obviously part of the book that one day we’re all going to write,” Skinner said. “This is a chapter where it stings, it sucks, and it’s painful.”
“The older you get, it stings more,” Darnell Nurse said.
Hill made big saves on Evander Kane and Mattias Ekholm in the first half of the third.
William Karlsson scored into an empty net in the final minute.
Hill stopped 39 straight shots after being beaten on the first two of the game.
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