Late goals carry Oilers to 3-1 series edge on Flames

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins notched his second goal of the night late in regulation to break a tie and send the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday that has them one win away from clinching the Western Conference second-round series.

With the score 3-3 after the Flames erased a three-goal deficit, Nugent-Hopkins was on the spot for a rebound to net his fourth of the playoffs with 3:27 remaining in regulation.

Evander Kane scored twice, including an empty-netter, to give him 12 goals in the playoffs, and Zach Hyman added a goal for Edmonton. Mike Smith made 29 saves for the Oilers, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will look to close out the series on Thursday in Calgary.

Oilers captain Connor McDavid netted two assists, giving him 10 multi-point games in 11 playoff outings. Leon Draisaitl also collected a pair of assists, his fourth consecutive game with multiple assists.

Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund and Rasmus Andersson scored for the Flames, who got 21 saves from Jacob Markstrom.

Nugent-Hopkins was the beneficiary of a Makstrom mistake while opening the scoring 21 seconds into the clash. Markstrom fanned on a pass from deep in his zone and sent it right to the Oilers center in front of the net.

Hyman’s power-play goal doubled the lead before the midway point of the opening frame, his seventh of the postseason, and then Kane made it 3-0 game with 66 seconds remaining in the opening period.

The Flames desperately needed a jolt and received it with a pair of goals 36 seconds apart before the midpoint of the second period. Lindholm notched his fifth goal of the playoffs, and Backlund made it a one-goal game on the next shift for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Seconds after Markstrom made a glorious save on Draisaitl, Andersson scored an unlikely goal to tie the game. With Calgary short-handed, Andersson sent a long slapper from inside his own blue line that Smith lost while it was on the way. The puck went past the goalie with 9:04 left in regulation for Andersson’s third goal of the playoffs.