In hockey, a centimeter can sometimes make a difference and the Oilers saw it at the very wrong time, on Saturday in Edmonton. Evan Bouchard hit the post with a header in the third inning, then JT Compiere scored the winning goal seconds later in their 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
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With a score of 2 to 2, Bouchard could have played the champions and put Alberta in a good position for match number 4. However, it was Compher, who came out of the penalty area, who made the difference. He scored his fifth qualifying goal less than eight minutes after the final whistle.
Jared Bednar’s team led 3-0 in the Western Final. The Oilers, the last Canadian team still in competition, will face elimination Monday night.
Is my destiny injured?
Leading 2-0 in the series at the time of the initial puck disc drop, the Oilers went into this game with a stroke. Conor McDavid set the tone by hitting the target just 38 seconds into the match, and it was his ninth goal in the playoffs.
Less than 30 seconds later, Evander Kane received a five-minute penalty to give him the bar for Nazem Kadri, but the Oilers halted the strong play in the avalanche.
Qadri was also injured in the match and did not return to the match after that. Prior to that match, he was 13th in the playoffs where he scored six goals and 14 points in 12 matches.
But Valery Neshushkin turned things around by hitting the goal twice, but Ryan McLeod then equalized in the third game. Former Montreal Canadiens player Brett Colak made an assist at that final goal.
Mikko Rantanen put the finishing touches in an empty cage in the last minute of play.
No Kuemper, no problem
Without Darcy Comber, injured in the upper body during the first game of the series, Pavel Francos would start the second game in a row. He has won all four of his games, including two, since the start of the playoffs.
The 32-year-old Czech extended his winning streak to five, avoiding 27 pucks for the Denver team. At the other end of the ice, Mike Smith definitely had his best game of the series, giving up three times in 42 shots.
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