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Eichel’s 3-point game helps Golden Knights beat Oilers 4-3, take 3-2 series lead

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists, and the Vegas Golden Knights moved one win from the Western Conference Final after beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Friday night.

Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nic Hague also scored, and Jonathan Marchessault tied a franchise playoff record with three assists for the Golden Knights, who took a 3-2 series lead. Adin Hill had 31 saves.

Connor McDavid scored two power-play goals for the Oilers, Zach Hyman had a goal and an assist and Evan Bouchard and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each totaled two assists. Stuart Skinner was pulled late in the second period after giving up four goals on 22 shots, and Jack Campbell stopped all nine shots he faced in relief.

Game 6 on Sunday at Edmonton, Alberta.

Both teams played without key defensemen. The Knights were without Alex Pietrangelo, who was suspended for this game for slashing Leon Draisaitl toward the end of Wednesday’s Game 4. Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse sat after he was suspended for instigator and misconduct penalties in the same game.

McDavid and Hyman scored in the first 10 minutes to give Edmonton a 2-1 lead. McDavid’s goal occurred just 3:02 into the game to continue a trend.

The Oilers have scored within the first 6:46 in each game this season and in the first four minutes all but once. Vegas responded to the early deficits to come back and win Games 1 and 3, but never recovered in the other two of what became one-sided Oilers victories.

The Knights, however, scored three goals in 1:29 of the second period to surge in front 4-2. That was the fastest three goals in a playoff game in Vegas’ six-year history.

Two goals came on essentially the same power play — Stone at 5-on-3 and Smith’s first of this playoffs on a 5-on-4. Hague soon after scored from near the blue line to chase Skinner, the third time this postseason he has been pulled.

Just when it appeared Vegas would take all the momentum into the third period, Keegan Kolesar shoved Edmonton’s Mattias Ekholm into the boards with 20.9 seconds left. Kolesar was sent off with a game misconduct penalty, and the Oilers had a five-minute power play for the boarding major.

McDavid scored 2:40 into the third period, but that was the only goal of the power play, allowing the Knights to remain ahead at 4-3. That was McDavid’s seventh goal of this playoffs.

McDAVID UP FOR LEAGUE MVP

McDavid is one of three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, which goes to the league’s most valuable player. He led the NHL in goals (64), assists (89) and points (153) this season. All were career highs.

Should he win, it would be McDavid’s second Hart Trophy in three years and third since 2017.

Also up for the Hart are forwards David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins and Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers.

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AP NHL Playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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