Oilers survive Panthers' comeback attempt to force Game 6

Connor McDavid plays hero for Oilers with 4-point performance (1:53)

Connor McDavid leads the Oilers back to Edmonton with a two-goal, two-assist night in Game 5. (1:53)

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Connor McDavid has dragged the Florida Panthers back to Alberta.

The Edmonton Oilers star continued one of the most dominant playoff performances in NHL history with two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday night, cutting the Panthers' series lead to 3-2 and forcing a Game 6 on Friday at Rogers Place.

McDavid now has 42 points in 23 playoff games, putting him five points away from tying Wayne Gretzky's 1985 NHL record of 47 points in 18 games for points in a single postseason.

The Oilers have scored 80 goals as a team in the playoffs. McDavid is in position to become the second player in NHL history to have a point on over 50% of his team's goals, after Gretzky in 1988.

"I love playing in the playoffs," McDavid said. "It's been a fun ride. We're glad it's going to go one more day, but that's all we've earned. Another day, another flight, and we'll be ready to go on Friday."

After the Oilers won Game 4, McDavid said the team had "to go to Florida and do a job and drag them back to Alberta." The Oilers used that as a rallying cry entering Tuesday's game and they accomplished their stated goal.

The Oilers are just the fourth team in NHL history to trail 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final and rally to force a Game 6. The 2012 New Jersey Devils lost in six games, the 1945 Detroit Red Wings lost in seven games and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs won in seven games -- the only team in NHL history to win the Cup after trailing 3-0.

"You can never count the Oil out," said goalie Stuart Skinner, who had 29 saves in the win and improved to 9-0 in Games 4-7 in each of Edmonton's playoff series.

It was the second straight four-point game for McDavid, who became the first player in NHL history to have eight points in a two-game span in the Stanley Cup Final, as well as the first player to post consecutive four-point games in a Final. McDavid joins Gretzky (1985) as the only players with multiple four-point games in a single Stanley Cup Final. McDavid now has four games this postseason of four or more points, the most by any player since Mark Messier had four in 1988.

McDavid already set the NHL record for assists in a single postseason, adding two more in Game 5 to bring his total to 34.

Most importantly for the Oilers, McDavid now has eight points when facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final, the most in NHL history.

"He puts this team on his back," forward Corey Perry, who scored his first goal of the playoffs on a brilliant McDavid assist in the second period, said of McDavid. "When we're against the wall, he puts us on his back and he plays. You see why he is the best player in the world."

The Oilers took a 1-0 lead in Game 5 on a shorthanded goal by Connor Brown during a sloppy power-play from the Panthers. Defenseman Brandon Montour's pass was intercepted by Brown, who raced the other way. With center Aleksander Barkov unable to catch him, Brown deked goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and netted his second goal of the playoffs.

Brown had gone 55 games to start the season without a goal. In Game 4, he set up Mattias Janmark's opening shorthanded goal, then opened the scoring himself in Game 5.

Edmonton made it 2-0 on an Evan Bouchard power-play blast that was tipped home by Zach Hyman for his 15th goal of the postseason. Florida defenseman Niko Mikkola was whistled for interference at the end of the first period. With a fresh sheet of ice, the Oilers' power play converted at 5-on-4 for the first time in the series.

McDavid assisted on that goal and then made it 3-0 for Edmonton just 3:02 later. A strong forecheck by forward Warren Foegele set up McDavid with the puck. Bobrovsky played too deeply in his net, and McDavid snuck the puck past him for his seventh goal of the postseason.

"I don't want to give away too much, as there's still hockey to be played, but coming in on that side of the goal, I've gone short side lots," McDavid said. "I would say most people know that I look there. He was standing. [Hyman] is always around the net, so I tried to put it there and it found a way in."

The Panthers found some life at 6:53 of the second period as Matthew Tkachuk converted an Evan Rodrigues steal for his first of the series.

But the Edmonton power play, which was held scoreless in all three Panthers wins, struck again. With Kyle Okposo in the box for hooking, McDavid made a brilliant stickhandling play and found a streaking Perry for his first goal of the postseason at 11:54 to make it 4-1. But the Panthers responded 14 seconds later, as Rodrigues jammed a puck off of Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse and behind Skinner to make it 4-2.

Tkachuk helped draw the Panthers even closer by finding a streaking Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who sent a dart past Skinner and cut the lead to 4-3 at 4:04 of the third period.

But that's as close as the Panthers would get, as McDavid scored his eighth of the postseason into an empty net to ice the game.

"I know a lot of guys counted us out," Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said. "We've been counted out a lot through the playoffs, regular season, whatever. But it doesn't faze the group in there. They've got a lot of belief -- a lot of belief and just enjoying every extra day because we were counted out a long time ago. We're still here playing hockey in June and have the opportunity where we are going back to Edmonton for Game 6. There's a lot to smile about."

Especially with McDavid on their side, sending what looked like a potential Panthers sweep into a sixth game -- and moving another step closer to a historic Stanley Cup comeback.

"I'm really excited, really excited," McDavid said. "But I've been excited about all these games. Right from Game 1 way back two months ago. The playoffs are the most fun time of the year. Special with this group. Special with our city, our fans. They make it so fun to go on these runs, and I'm really excited to see the energy that they bring on Friday night."