“I just thought we battled harder, that was all,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said after the game. “Working, being harder in battles, winning some 50/50 pucks — you know we didn’t win many in Game 1. So, I thought we did a good job of that. Obviously, we defended better I thought; still gave up some chances but Smitty played well.”
The Oilers struggled early in the game, as Tyler Toffoli cashed in on the power play to make it 3-1 in favour of the Flames.
However, as the second period of Game 2 got underway, things began to pivot.
With Stone serving a double-minor for high -sticking Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto, defenceman Evan Bouchard powered a shot by Markstrom to tie it 3-3.
Hyman beat Markstrom up high on a shorthanded breakaway to give the Oilers their first lead of the series with 9:46 to go in the third.
“You just gotta keep working, it’s the playoffs,” Hyman said. “All that matters is you get the win and I think we did a good in just battling. We were down two goals there early in the second, off a too many men penalty, and then we just worked.”
Draisaitl later scored as well, pushing it to 5-3 Oilers.
“I thought we deserved to win the game tonight based on hard effort alone,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I thought we paid the price required to win a game in the second round. Our competition level was excellent. Our execution level coming out of our own end was very good. We found a way to win the special teams battle.”
“We missed a lot of opportunities,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “Markstrom was really, really good for us. Individual skill was what stood out tonight, and situations that they scored on. That’s hard to handle, but some of that is also not (playing) five-on-five.