Oilers turn around series, push Stars to brink: Here’s how they did it

The Dallas Stars, once in good shape in the Western Conference final, are on the verge of elimination thanks to a big turnaround by the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers lead the best-of-seven series three games to two after Friday night’s 3-1 victory and need one more win to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the Connor McDavid era.

The Stars had a major comeback in Game 3 and held a 2-0 lead in Game 4, but Edmonton scored five consecutive goals to win Wednesday’s game. The Oilers lifted that to eight consecutive goals over two games before Dallas’ Wyatt Johnston scored in the third period.

The Oilers can reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2006 if they win Sunday night in Edmonton (8 p.m. ET, TNT/truTV). If they lose, the Stars will come up short for a second consecutive season in the conference final.

In beating the Stars Friday, the Oilers had several positives that could carry into Game 6:

—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his first two goals of the series. He had only two assists in the first four games.

—The Oilers’ vaunted power play finally connected in the series. Edmonton’s two power-play goals by Nugent-Hopkins were scored quickly, 18 and 16 seconds respectively after the Stars took penalties.

—Edmonton held Dallas to 10 shots over the first two periods.

—Once Dallas began threatening, Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner robbed Johnston, Logan Stankoven and others.

—The Oilers killed off two more penalties and are perfect in their last nine games.

Chris Tanev returns to action

Stars defenseman Chris Tanev, who left Game 4 after blocking a shot, returned to action on Friday. He played more than 19 minutes and blocked four shots. … Edmonton’s Corey Perry left the game after being hit by Joe Pavelski, but returned to the game.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY