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Edmonton Oilers score last minute win in Game 4

Calvin Pickard won his first career playoff start and Evan Bouchard scored a dramatic game winner as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

The series is tied 2-2.

“I felt comfortable right from the get go,” Pickard said. “We had great energy early. The crowd was into it. We played great all night.”

“What an awesome guy. What an awesome story,” Leon Draisaitl said of Pickard. “All year he has given us a chance to win, and every time he’s in there it seems like he’s standing on his head.”

“I’m so happy for him,” Mattias Ekholm added. “He just lifts the room up. He’s funny–he’s really funny, but I also love his mindset coming in here. He’s never started a playoff game and you can tell–when I got in at 5:30 he was just in a zone.”

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The Oilers special teams were the story in the first period. The penalty kill negated a Darnell Nurse cross-checking infraction and a high sticking double minor incurred by Evander Kane. Draisaitl ripped home a power play one-timer for the only goal of the first.

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Pickard held strong on a dangerous left wing shot by Brock Boeser five minutes into the second.

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“He looked like a guy that had played 100 playoff games. Composed, really solid, seeing the puck really well,” Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. “Continually, his starts have been solid. No matter how long he’s sat–a week or two weeks–we have a lot of confidence in him and he came up big tonight.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins beat Arturs Silovs blocker side with a snipe off the post and in to make it 2-0 Oilers with 39.8 seconds to go in the period.

Conor Garland put the Canucks on the board with a mid-range wrister with 13:06 to go in the third. Silovs was pulled for an extra attacker with 2:38 on the clock. With 1:41 left, Boeser’s shot from the left wing boards nicked off Dakota Joshua on the way in to make it 2-2.

The Oilers replied with Draisaitl setting up behind the net and sending the puck back to Bouchard at the point. His snap shot eluded Silovs to provide winning margin with 38.1 seconds to go.

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“No moment is too big for him,” Ekholm said about Bouchard. “He’s playing his game. He doesn’t care what time of the game it is, what time of the year it is, he’s just playing his way. That’s what I love about him and that’s what’s going to make him have an unbelievable career in this league.”

Pickard finished with 19 saves.

Game five is Thursday in Vancouver (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 6 p.m., game at 8 p.m.).

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