Skip to content

Canucks comeback crushed by last-minute Oilers goal in Game 4

The Vancouver Canucks scored twice in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit but couldn't hold on for overtime in the final minute.
The Vancouver Canucks took on the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their second-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday.

The Edmonton Oilers made the bold choice of turning to veteran journeyman goaltender Calvin Pickard in Game 4 against the Vancouver Canucks, sitting their number one, Stuart Skinner. 

It looked like the right move by the end of the game, as Pickard came through for the win. Truth be told, the Canucks didn't test him anywhere near enough.

The first period was a tale of two very different power plays. The Oilers got one opportunity with the man advantage and put on a clinic, with Connor McDavid driving into the middle of the ice to draw in the Canucks' penalty killers, then setting up the now-open Leon Draisaitl for a one-timer goal.

The Canucks' power play, on the other hand, was completely ineffective. They had six minutes on the power play and struggled to create much of anything. They looked particularly bad on a four-minute double-minor for Evander Kane where they managed just a single shot on goal.

It was a massive missed opportunity to tie up the game heading into the first intermission. It's simply not good enough to have six minutes on the power play in one period and finish the period with just four shots on goal.

The Canuck showed more in the second period, with some particularly strong shifts by Quinn Hughes to put some pressure on the Oilers but they still struggled to get quality scoring chances around the net to test Pickard. 

That wasn't an issue for the Oilers, who created some big chances and forced Arturs Silovs to come up with some equally big saves. His stop on a point-blank chance by Evander Kane was key to keeping the Canucks in the game. 

In the final minute of the second period, however, the Oilers took a two-goal lead. Noah Juulsen, into the lineup for the suspended Carson Soucy, chased a big hit on Mattias Ekholm, giving up a 2-on-1 behind him. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins looked off McDavid on his left and fired a shot past Silovs' blocker, off the post, and in.

Pickard carried a shutout into the second intermission but the Canucks had only managed 13 shots on goal, with few, if any, high-danger chances. His shutout wouldn't survive the third period.

A hard forechecking shift by Elias Lindholm's line with Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua created the breakthrough. After controlling the puck down low, Garland moved the puck to Nikita Zadorov at the point. His shot was blocked but Lindholm tipped the loose puck to Garland, who curled into the high slot and fired a shot that took a deflection to beat Pickard over the glove.

Garland's goal ignited the Canucks, who poured on the pressure, desperate for the tying goal. Still, they couldn't get enough pucks to the net, even with more sustained pressure in the offensive zone.

With Silovs pulled for the extra attacker in the final minutes, however, the Canucks, who have staged a plethora of comebacks in these playoffs, weaved some more last-minute magic.

Once again, it was Brock Boeser, the hero of so many stories for the Canucks this postseason, who came through in the clutch. He threw a puck into traffic in front and got the bounce he was looking for off the skate of Dakota Joshua for Joshua's fourth goal of the playoffs, tying the game 2-2.

But not all stories with magic in them are fairytales. The comeback came crashing to a halt as the game turned into a horror story in the final minute. The Oilers hemmed the Canucks into the defensive zone and Evan Bouchard beat Silovs past a double Canucks screen to put the Oilers ahead 3-2.

The Canucks couldn't manufacture any more last-minute magic. The series will head back to Vancouver tied at 2-2.


Need a more in-depth recap of the game with more highlights, analysis, quips, and quotes? Read the I Watched This Game feature. Don't forget to follow @passittobulis on X/Twitter to stay updated on the Canucks throughout the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.