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McDavid's OT winner guides Oilers by Flames for Stanley Cup semis spot

McDavid's OT winner guides Oilers by Flames for Stanley Cup semis spot
All-Star center Connor McDavid totaled three goals and nine assists in the Edmonton Oilers' second-round playoff series with the Calgary Flames. Photo by Brian Murphy/ All-Pro Reels

May 27 (UPI) -- Connor McDavid whipped a wrist shot by Jacob Markstrom 5:03 into overtime to lead the Edmonton Oilers past the Calgary Flames in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series and into the Western Conference finals.

The Oilers lost Game 1, but won the final four games of the Stanley Cup playoff series, capped off with the 5-4 overtime victory Thursday at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

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"It's hard to put into words what that one meant to me," McDavid told reporters. "The guys did a great job of hanging in there all night. It definitely wasn't our best effort, but we stuck in there.

"We got great performances from a bunch of different guys."

Oilers left wing Zach Hyman logged a goal and two assists. Center Leon Draisaitl assisted four Oilers scores. Flames center Mikael Backlund logged a goal and an assist in the loss.

"It was a really big goal by Connor," Draisaitl said. "I'm not going to talk about myself. I thought our whole team did a great job, other than in Game 1, to adjust and get back to what makes us successful as a team."

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McDavid ended the night off a feed from Draisaitl. The All-Star center first knocked the puck loose from the Flames defense. Draisaitl took over possession outside the right circle and flipped a pass back to McDavid, who skated toward the net.

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McDavid then put the puck on his forehand, swiped his stick over the frozen floor and ripped a his decisive blow by Markstrom's glove and into the net.

Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane lit the lamp for the game's first score midway through the first period. Backlund doubled the Flames lead 5:41 into the second period.

Defenseman Darnell Nurse then scored the first of three unanswered Oilers goals about two minutes later. Wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Hyman also scored as part of the run, which gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead.

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Just 15 seconds later, left wing Johnny Gaudreau and center Calle Jarnkrok each scored within a 16-second span to give the Flames a 4-3 edge.

Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard lit the lamp and tied the score with 3:52 left in the second. Neither team found the net over the final 20 minutes of regulation, prompting overtime and McDavid's game-winner.

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Oilers goaltender Mike Smith totaled 32 saves in the victory. Markstrom logged 30 stops for the Flames.

The Oilers will face the Colorado Avalanche or St. Louis Blues next week in the Western Conference finals. The Avalanche, who lead the series 3-2, face the Blues in Game 6 at 8 p.m. EDT Friday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

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