Connor McDavid was the hero for the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, scoring the double overtime winner against the Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final to earn his club a 3-2 victory — but he didn't make it easy.

McDavid was assessed a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking just seconds into the first extra frame, and had to watch from the penalty box as the Oilers killed it off — the team's 20th consecutive kill.

“It was long. Really long. Really, really long,” McDavid said afterwards about the infraction, per ESPN's Ryan S. Clark. “Miserable. I hated every second of it. But the guys did an amazing job. The penalty kill has just been amazing.”

Then, he looked like he had a gimme to win the game later in OT, but was stoned by Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger. McDavid finally ended it 23 seconds into double OT on a great deflection pass from Evan Bouchard, who has been lights out in the postseason.

When the dust settled, it was No. 97 who stole back home-ice advantage at the American Airlines Center on Thursday night. But the superstar admitted he wished he had sealed it in the first OT.

“Yeah, apologies to everyone for keeping everyone up a little bit longer,” he said in the postgame interview with TNT, which earned a few laughs from the panel. “Should have gone in, has to go in, he's a good goalie, he scrambles to make a good play, but that has to go in.”

It didn't go in, but this one did:

And with that, the Oilers have won their first game in a West Final since marching all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.

Oilers 3 wins away from Stanley Cup Final

The Edmonton Oilers celebrates center Connor McDavid (97) scoring the game winning goal against the Dallas Stars during the second overtime period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The victory was Edmonton's sixth one-goal triumph as they continue to find a way to win the close games in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers led 2-0 in the contest, but gave up two goals to Tyler Seguin — including one with just minutes remaining in regulation.

But that's as close as he would get, with Stuart Skinner shutting the door, just like he did against the Vancouver Canucks at the end of Round 2. And McDavid, who could have been in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons after his overtime penalty, ended up being the reason for jubilation in the away dressing room.

“He mentioned to me that it was the longest four minutes of his life,” Edmonton forward Derek Ryan said of the league's most prolific player, per Clark. “It's definitely nice to see him get out of there. He's a rock for our team, obviously. Everyone knows it. He does it all. Before I came here, I don't think I realized how great of a leader he is and great of a person he is to everyone in that room.”

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch was also happy with how his team handled a rollercoaster of a Game 1.

“We've talked about this through the season with how mature and responsible they are with how they handle adversity no matter what happens,” said the bench boss. “Whether it's a bad call by the official, a bad break, a bad play, whatever it is, we just move on and get ready for the next shift.”

And that's exactly what McDavid and the Oilers did, en route to stealing home-ice advantage back from the Western Conference's top regular-season team.

Edmonton will have a chance to steal both tilts on the road when puck drops for Game 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night.