Penalty killing major reason for Oilers playoff success

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The Edmonton Oilers are only seven wins away from winning their first Stanley Cup in 34 years. A major reason why the Oilers have a postseason record of nine wins and four losses has been their outstanding penalty killing. The Oilers have a fantastic penalty kill percentage of 92.5%, which is the best among all 16 National Hockey League teams that made the postseason.

Inside the Numbers of the Penalty Kill

The Oilers have killed 37 of 40 penalties to date. This is noteworthy because the Oilers only had a penalty kill percentage of 79.5% in the regular season, and were 15th in the league. The Oilers have a penalty killing percentage that is a remarkable 13% higher in the playoffs than the regular season.

Two Notable Penalty Kills

There are two penalty kills that stand out over all the rest. In game seven against the Vancouver Canucks, a 3-2 Oilers win on Monday, Edmonton center Ryan McLeod was penalized four minutes for high sticking Canucks forward Elias Pettersson. However, the Oilers penalty kill was stellar, and did not even give up a Canucks shot on goal for four full minutes. Then in game one of the Western Conference Final against the Stars (another 3-2 Oilers win), Oilers captain Connor McDavid was given a four-minute penalty for high sticking Stars forward Matt Duchene at the 17 second mark of the first overtime period. This time, Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner was spectacular in net as he made several Grade A saves and got some help from his post along the way. While the Oilers deserve praise as a unit for their game two penalty killing, it is safe to say Skinner deserved the highest praise from preventing Dallas from scoring.

McDavid in Overtime

McDavid turned out to be the best player on the ice in the overtime. He had a glorious scoring chance in the first overtime, but Jake Oettinger made a great save for Dallas. Then in the second overtime, he scored the game-winner from Evan Bouchard and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

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