Oilers’ McDavid confused by lack of power plays: ‘That’s a good question’

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid discusses his team's lack of penalties drawn two games into the Western Conference Final, saying "it's a good question" as to why fewer are being called, before head coach Kris Knoblauch touches on the topic.

Through two games of the Western Conference Final, the lethal Edmonton Oilers power play has had just three opportunities.

Why has it been so hard to draw more penalties on the Dallas Stars? Both Oilers captain Connor McDavid and defenceman Mattias Ekholm had similar answers to that question:

“That’s a good question,” McDavid said.

“Great question. I have no idea,” Ekholm added.

The Oilers had just one opportunity in a Game 1 win on Thursday, then only two in a Game 2 loss on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Stars have had double the opportunities on the power play through two games.

Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said he knows that the referees tighten their whistle in the post-season, but he expects the same standard to be applied to both teams.

“We’ve got a really good power play, and we win a lot of games on the power play,” Knobaluch said post-game. “And it’s unfortunate for us that it’s tougher to draw penalties in the playoffs then it is in the regular season.

“I think the standard is the same for both teams, I’m not saying it’s unfair for us. But we would like the same standard.”

Through 14 games in these playoffs, the Oilers have a 34.9-per-cent success rate on the power play, the best of the remaining teams and second only to the Colorado Avalanche, who were eliminated in Round 2.

The Oilers came into Saturday’s game with the highest combined power play and penalty kill percentage through the first 13 playoff games since 1978.

The series now shifts to Edmonton, where the Oilers will be looking for their first power-play goal of the series.

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