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Oilers oust Stars to reach first NHL Stanley Cup Final since 2006

The Oilers celebrate reaching the final
The Oilers celebrate reaching the final Reuters
Connor McDavid scored one goal and set up another as the Edmonton Oilers reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2006 by defeating Dallas 2-1 on Sunday in the NHL playoffs.

Edmonton captain McDavid, considered by many the NHL's top player, will play for his first crown after a series-clinching performance by the Oilers, with goaltender Stuart Skinner making 34 saves.

The Oilers won the best-of-seven Western Conference final 4-2 and will face the Florida Panthers in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, which begins on Saturday. Edmonton haven't won the Stanley Cup since hoisting the trophy five times in seven seasons from 1984 to 1990 while Florida, last year's losing finalists, have never won it.

McDavid opened the scoring 4:17 into the game with a spectacular power play goal, skating around two defenders from the left side and flicking a backhand shot past Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger for his fifth tally of the playoffs.

Zach Hyman netted his 14th goal of the playoffs on a power play goal with 4:18 remaining in the first period, taking a pass from McDavid and zipping a quick shot past Oettinger for a 2-0 Oilers edge.

Edmonton denied Dallas on two extra-man chances in the first period, staying on top despite a 12-3 Stars edge in shots over the first 20 minutes that grew to 21-8 after a scoreless second period.

Mason Marchment pulled Dallas within 2-1 with 10:42 remaining, tucking in the puck after a pass from Tyler Seguin from behind the goal, but the Stars never managed an equalizer, even after removing Oettinger for an extra attacker in the dying minutes.

McDavid has a playoffs-best 26 assists. The 27-year-old Canadian centre was the top pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.

He's a three-time Hart Trophy winner as the NHL Most Valuable Player and led the league in the 2022-23 season with 64 goals and 89 assists. This past campaign he scored 32 goals and passed off an NHL-best 100 assists.

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