Knights edge Oilers, move closer to West final

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists and Vegas set a franchise playoff record with three goals in a 89-second span en route to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Friday in Las Vegas.

Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nicolas Hague each scored goals during the 89-second span late in the second period, Jonathan Marchessault tied the team playoff record for assists in a game with three and Adin Hill finished with 32 saves as Vegas took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Golden Knights would clinch a berth in the Western Conference finals with a Game 6 win on Sunday night in Edmonton.

Connor McDavid scored two goals, Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evan Bouchard each added a pair of assists for Edmonton. Stuart Skinner stopped 18 of 22 shots before being replaced with 4:26 left in the second period by Jack Campbell, who made nine saves.

Special teams were the story during the first period as Edmonton, which was 2-for-2 on the power play while killing all three Vegas power-play chances, took a 2-1 lead.

McDavid started the scoring at the 3:02 mark, roofing a rebound of a Nugent-Hopkins shot from the bottom of the left circle.

Eichel tied it 1-1 just 50 seconds later when he slapped in a rebound of an Alec Martinez shot from in front of the net.

Hyman made it 2-1 midway through the period with his third goal of the playoffs when Hill’s save of a Nugent-Hopkins shot caromed in off his arm.

Vegas had a five-on-three power play for 1:16 in the second period when Philip Broberg picked up a holding penalty on Eichel and Mattias Janmark was called for high-sticking Eichel. Stone then tied it 2-2 at the 14:05 mark when he took an Eichel pass by the left post and put in a wraparound shot past Skinner’s left skate.

Vegas took a 3-2 lead 29 seconds later. Ivan Barbashev’s pass deflected off McDavid’s skate to Smith alone in front of the net, and Smith put a wrist shot past Skinner’s blocker side for his first goal of the playoffs.

Hague followed with a one-timer from the left point that knuckled past Skinner and inside the far post to make it 4-2.

The momentum switched back to the Oilers with 23.2 seconds left in the period when Keegan Kolesar picked up a five-minute major for boarding on Mattias Ekholm. Edmonton managed seven shots on the power-play and cut it to 4-3 at the 2:40 mark of the third period when McDavid put in his own rebound after blowing past two defenders and cutting in front of the crease.

Edmonton, which almost tied it with 8:58 left when Bouchard’s blast caromed off the post, pulled Campbell with 1:50 left for an extra attacker but managed just one shot the rest of the way.

–Field Level Media

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