The Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of elimination for the first time in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs after losing a tight, 4-3 affair to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 on Friday night.

Edmonton was burned by a costly five-on-three which led to two Golden Knights goals, part of a three-goal onslaught in an 89-second span that ended up being the difference in the contest.

According to Oilers forward Zach Hyman, that’s the nature of playoff hockey: momentum swings.

“That’s playoffs. It’s momentum,” the winger said after the game, according to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector. “We go from having a fantastic start to trying to kill almost two minutes of five-on-three. That’s the way playoffs go. It’s hard, and you’ve got to be able to manage those times in the game when you get scored against. Obviously, those [two] minutes tonight did us in.”

“Obviously, it’s a three-on-five that crushes us,” Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm echoed, after logging over 26 minutes of ice time to make up for Darnell Nurse’s one-game suspension. “Give them credit. They made a good play. But those are the ones that kill you.”

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It seemed likely that special teams would decide a series that features two high flying, offensively minded teams.

And that’s exactly what happened on Friday night; Connor McDavid’s Oilers were able to score just one goal on a five-minute powerplay of their own after Keegan Kolesar ran Ekholm into the boards in the waning seconds of the second period.

Overall, five of the seven goals in Game 5 were scored on the powerplay.

It’s now win-or-go-home time for Edmonton, who reached the Western Conference Final last season but will need to win two straight against Vegas for the first time this series if they hope to advance.

Game 6 between the Oilers and Golden Knights at Rogers Place is set for Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET.