J.T. Miller scores winner as Vancouver Canucks take 3-2 series lead over Edmonton Oilers

J.T. Miller scored the winning goal with 32 seconds left in the third period electrifying the home crowd at Rogers Arena
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Canucks beat the Oilers in game five on Thursday night, as J.T. Miller scored the go-ahead goal with 31.9 seconds left in regulation.

After blaming himself for the Vancouver Canucks’ game four loss on Tuesday, Miller brought the Rogers Arena crowd to its feet in game five, burying a rebound off Elias Pettersson’s skate — and then the post — to give Vancouver a late lead.

“It’s one of the ones where we got a nice bounce,” Miller said. “Petey went to the net, I think it hit him in the foot or something and off the post and I think I got a little lucky there. That puck was kind of all over the place. Just nice to get rewarded at the end of the game.”

Full team effort carries Canucks

Miller’s goal capped off a full team effort Thursday. Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, who called out his team after their game four loss, praised the group’s performance.

“A lot of effort from a lot of different guys,” Tocchet said. “Almost every single guy gave us everything they had. Resilient. I thought the guys were terrific tonight. They really came to play. One of our best games of the playoffs.”

A key component of the game was the Canucks’ ability to shut down the Oilers’ power play. Despite being shorthanded five times, Vancouver kept Edmonton’s power play at bay as they went 0-5.

Is Elias Pettersson back?

Elias Pettersson played with more confidence, At times, he showed flashes of his old self and wasn’t afraid to make plays.

“Let’s go Petey!” the fans chanted in support. “It means lots,” Pettersson said. “It was encouraging to have the fans behind you … Just to hear them chant my name, makes me want to work even harder for them.”

Pettersson recorded three shots on goal in game five, but his biggest play of the night was his assist on Miller’s winner. He drove to the net, and helped deflect the puck on goal. Though a lucky bounce off the post helped the puck to Miller, Pettersson’s positioning made it happen. “He felt really good,” Tocchet said of his star forward’s play. “I’m proud of him. It was a good game for him, really good game.”

Di Giuseppe scores after child’s birth, praises crowd

Phillip Di Giuseppe was given the game puck following the win. Playing in his first game since the birth of his son Sam on Sunday, Di Giuseppe scored his first career playoff goal at 5:14 in the second period, tying the game at two. “I got to watch it again,” he said. “I think [Evan Bouchard] took the net away from me, so I just spun around and scored.”

Di Giuseppe, like many other players have commented this spring, spoke highly of the Rogers Arena crowd as a motivator. “This building is unbelievable,” he said. “There’s times I might be tired on the bench and I just close my eyes and try to charge up with all that energy."

Vancouver will be without their crowd as the series shifts back to Edmonton for game six on Saturday, but they’ll look to build on their momentum from this game. If Pettersson continues to play with confidence and the Canucks find ways to shut down the Oilers’ power play, they’ll put themselves in a good spot.

Puck drop for Game 6 on Saturday is 5:00 PM PT.