McDavid expects Oilers to bounce back in Game 4 of West Final

EDMONTON– Connor McDavid expressed confidence the Edmonton Oilers can bounce back after losing consecutive games for the first time in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Oilers trail the Dallas Stars 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference final before Game 4 at Rogers Arena on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS, TNT, truTV, MAX).

Edmonton won the first game 3-2 thanks to a McDavid goal in double overtime, but lost 3-1 and 5-3, including blowing a 2-0 lead in the third game.

“The group is responding well,” the Oilers captain said Wednesday morning. “There is a belief in our room that we can respond to situations like this.

“I know it will be the same tonight.”

For Edmonton to be successful, their chances of winning should improve if a crackling power play starts clicking again. After scoring nine times in the first 20 chances with the man advantage, the Oilers power play went 0-for-5 in the series against Dallas.

Although the Stars have made a concerted effort to stay out of the penalty box, McDavid said the Oilers have to make changes when the opportunity presents itself. Edmonton’s trademark power play was to focus on defenseman Evan Bouchard at the point and forward Leon Draisaitl stationed at the bottom of the right faceoff circle, but Dallas’ plan focused on the elimination of these two configurations.

“They kill well,” McDavid said. “They are aggressive on the ice and make it difficult to get into (the offensive zone). And when you get in there, it’s hard to prepare them to slow them down.

“Again, it’s a very good kill. But we have to persevere and get back into the series.

McDavid also took the time to come to the defense of Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse, who has taken a lot of heat from fans and media for being a team-low -10 in the playoffs.

“He plays an important role on our team,” McDavid said. “Plus-minus can be a fun statistic. But it has been important to us for a long time.

“I would expect him to have a good one tonight.”

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