NHL playoffs: Oilers to face Ducks after topping Sharks, 3-1

NHL playoffs: Oilers to face Ducks after topping Sharks, 3-1
Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) scores a goal on Sharks goaltender Martin Jones on a breakaway during the second period of Edmonton's series clinching victory in Game 6. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev scored on breakaways in the opening minutes of the second period and the Edmonton Oilers advanced to the second round of the playoffs with 3-1 victory in Game 6 over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Draisaitl and Slepyshev each buried their chances for their first career playoff goals and the Oilers held off the Sharks after that to get the win in their first playoff series since getting to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Connor McDavid iced the game with an empty-net goal with less than a second to play for his first even-strength point of the series.


Patrick Marleau got the Sharks on the board with 7:48 left in the third period, but Cam Talbot didn't allow anything else on 28 shots to get the win.

Edmonton will take a young roster led by NHL scoring leader McDavid and eight other skaters under the age of 25 into the second round against Anaheim.

St. Louis 4, Minnesota 3 (OT):Magnus Paajarvi scored at the 9:42 mark in overtime, giving the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Saturday in Game 5 of their playoff series, eliminating the Wild in the first round following the best season in franchise history.

The Blues advanced to play Nashville in the second round, with Game 1 against the Predators at home in St. Louis.

Jake Allen made 34 saves for the Blues, who led 2-0 and 3-1 before a furious rally by the Wild to try to keep their season alive forced the extra frame.

Paajarvi's first career playoff goal gave Blues coach Mike Yeo the satisfaction of beating the team that fired him a little over a year ago. Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 23 shots, turned the puck over to Vladimir Sobotka, who set up Paajarvi.

Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker scored to bring the Wild back from their second two-goal hole, a deficit that held past the midpoint of the third period.

Ryan Suter scored the first of two power play goals by the Wild, who weathered an early barrage by the Blues and had a 26-12 advantage in shots on goal over the second and third periods and kept Allen busy enough to get a few pucks by him for once.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the first time in the series, Alexander Steen followed him 3:15 later for a 2-0 lead midway through the first period and Paul Stastny got a goal in his first appearance of the playoffs, but the Blues were still fortunate to make it to overtime with all the difficult saves Allen had to make and the way the Wild were buzzing around the ice at the end of regulation.

Allen stopped 174 of the 182 shots he faced in the series.

at New York 3, Montreal 1: Mats Zuccarello scored twice in the second period to help the Rangers beat the Canadiens 3-1 in Game 6 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Derek Stepan also scored and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots to help New York get past the first round for the fifth time in six years. The Rangers won three straight after falling behind 2-1 to beat Montreal for the ninth time in 16 postseason series.

The Rangers will face the winner of the Ottawa-Boston series, which the Senators lead 3-2. Alexei Emelin scored for Montreal and Carey Price finished with 20 saves.

The Canadiens, winners of the Atlantic Division after missing the playoffs last year, were bounced from the postseason by the Rangers for the second time in four years. In 2014, it was in the conference finals.