Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist to help the Oilers beat the Golden Knights 4-1 to even the series at 2-2.
EDMONTON, Alta. (AP) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Wednesday night to even their second-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Nick Bjugstad, Evan Bouchard and Matthias Ekholm also scored as the Oilers took a four-goal lead into the second period. Connor McDavid had two assists and Stuart Skinner stopped 25 shots.
Nicolas Roy scored for Vegas in the third period. Adin Hill stopped 29 shots in his first NHL playoff start after playing minutes in the previous two games of the series.
Game 5 of the seven-game series is Friday in Las Vegas, with Game 6 returning to Edmonton on Sunday.
A huge foul on Golden Knights guard Alex Pietrangelo with less than 90 seconds left in the game. After Leon Draisaitl’s shot from the empty net, Pietrangelo pounced on the Oilers’ forward.
It ended a penalty-filled third period with all the fouls coming in the final 10 minutes. Vegas’ Chandler Stevenson and Jonathan Marchessault were fouled earlier in the period, as were Edmonton’s Kyler Yamamoto and Evander Kane. In addition, Nicholas Hague of the Golden Knights and Nurse Darnell of the Oilers were ejected for fighting, and the nurse also received a provocative penalty and a foul. Vegas’ Brett Howden also got fouled with 25 seconds left.
Bjugstad came off the bench in Edmonton and forced Shea Theodore to replace him in the offensive zone. When Klim Kostin missed the puck, Bjugstad collected the puck behind the goal line and put a rebound off Hill’s leg to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 6:46 of the first period.
Bouchard doubled the lead with his fourth power-play goal of the playoffs at 7:38 while Theodore was serving a minor penalty. McDavid fed Bouchard behind the goal line for a one-timer.
Ekholm scored his first playoff game from the top of the faceoff circle to make it 3-0 with 6:30 left in the first period over Hill at the other end.
Vegas captain Mark Stone sat out the game in pain after collapsing in the Edmonton net. Stone missed 39 of the regular season after back surgery, but returned for the playoffs.
The Oilers canceled out each other’s penalties midway through the second period. Zach Hyman made a minor check and Skinner was penalized for puck off the trapeze. Pietrangelo hit a shot off the crossbar during the Knights’ second man advantage.
Nugent-Hopkins also got its first win of the playoffs, beating Hill off the boards with a wrist shot from the slot off a McDavid pass to take a four-goal lead with 5:15 left in the second.
Roy scored his first playoff goal at 5:58 of the third period.
Edmonton’s power play went 1-for-6 during the playoffs, converting at a 56% rate. The Oilers also held Vegas 0-for-4.
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Vegas started five different quarterbacks during the regular season due to injury. This trend continued in the playoffs.
Laurent Brossoit started eight playoff games. He replaced Hill in the first period of Game 3 with what appeared to be a left foot injury. Hill stopped all 25 shots in the remaining 48 minutes of the Knights’ 5-1 victory.
Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy said before Wednesday’s game that he won’t know how long Brossoit will be out until the team returns to Vegas.
Jonathan Quick, who was acquired at the NHL Deadline, came in as the backup behind Hill, and Jiri Patera is the third-stringer.
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