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HomeWorld‘Connor doing Connor things’: McDavid heroics keep Oilers alive in Stanley Cup

‘Connor doing Connor things’: McDavid heroics keep Oilers alive in Stanley Cup

Connor McDavid wanted the Edmonton Oilers to drag the Florida Panthers back to Alberta, and he did everything he could to make that happen.

McDavid scored twice, including the empty-netter to seal the score, and set up two goals to keep the Stanley Cup Final going with a 5-3 win in Game 5 on Tuesday night – avoiding elimination and taking the series all the way back was sent north to America. Game 6 is Friday in Edmonton.

“I love playing in the playoffs,” McDavid said. “I love playing with this group. It was a fun ride and we’re glad it will last another day. But that’s all we’ve earned here: another day, another flight. We’re ready to go to Edmonton on Friday.”

With consecutive four-point performances, McDavid joined Wayne Gretzky in 1985 as one of only two players to have four or more in two games of a finals. His eight over this period is the most for a player in consecutive games for a team on the brink.

“Connor does Connor things,” said linemate Zach Hyman, who scored his 15th goal of the playoffs with an assist from McDavid. “That makes him special. He is able to improve his game at the most important moment, the biggest reason why we have come this far. We’re not here without him. He continues to drive the bus.”

“Drag ’em back to Alberta” became the Oilers’ rallying cry, started by McDavid after leading the way in avoiding a sweep and echoed by Connor Brown hours before the puck dropped in Florida. Brown, the other Connor, scored short-handed five minutes later after Stuart Skinner made a number of big saves over the first few shifts as the Panthers opened with a strong push in their second chance to win the Cup.

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“He puts this team on his back,” Perry said of McDavid. “If we are against the wall, he puts us on his back and plays. You see why he is the best player.”

Retired referee Kerry Fraser, who played the final 12 times during his long career, posted on social media: “Connor McDavid reminds me of how Mark Messier could take over a play-off game and ultimately a series.” Fraser was referring to Messier carrying the Oilers to the Cup in 1990 – the franchise’s last championship, which exceeded that dynasty’s streak of five in seven years.

McDavid now has 42 points on this run. Only Gretzky (twice) and Mario Lemieux have more in a single postseason. His 42nd into the empty net with 19 seconds left set off the Oilers’ victory song, La Bamba, playing all over Edmonton.

“We believe,” said fan Trevor Savage after watching Game 5. “We all knew it was possible. We knew Connor could lead us. We knew the team would be ready, and we’re just excited about Game 6 at home.”

The Oilers reached Sergei Bobrovsky again, three nights after chasing him midway through an 8-1 loss from Game 4. McDavid’s first goal Tuesday night from a tight angle was soft to give up by the goaltender everyone just calls “Bob.”

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Further shaky play from Bobrovsky when the series returns to Edmonton could set the stage for a comeback not seen in more than 80 years. The Oilers became only the third team in Cup Final history and the first since New Jersey in 2012 to fall behind 3-0 and win the next two games, and the only team to come all the way back to win it all was the Toronto Maple from 1942. Leaves.

“It’s been a crazy story all year,” Hyman said. “We have to continue writing it. It’s only a good story if you finish it.”

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