Oilers 4-3 Kings (May 1, 2024) Game Recap

Oilers 4-3 Kings (May 1, 2024) Game Recap
Oilers 4-3 Kings (May 1, 2024) Game Recap

EDMONTON, Alberta — — The Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings played a tight-checking series at even strength. The special teams matchup, however, was lopsided — and that’s why it ended in five games.

“That was a difference in this series,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to win their first-round NHL playoff series.

The Oilers power play went 1 for 5 on the night but scored twice just after time had expired on a penalty. Edmonton finished 9 for 20 with the man-advantage in the five games. Los Angeles, meanwhile, was 0 for 1 in this game, going scoreless on 12 power plays in the series.

“It’s pretty simple to write this one,” Kings interim head coach Jim Hiller said. “You saw one team execute, and one team not, on special teams.”

Zach Hyman — with his seventh goal of the postseason — and Evander Kane also scored for Edmonton, which only dropped a 5-4 loss in overtime of Game 2 in the best-of-seven series.

Evan Bouchard added three assists, and Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two each as Edmonton’s offense broke out at Rogers Place. McDavid extended his points total to a playoff-leading 12 (one goal, 11 assists).

Stuart Skinner made 18 saves after posting a shutout in Edmonton’s 1-0 win at Los Angeles in Game 4.

The Oilers move on to the second round, where they’ll face the winner of a matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators. Vancouver leads the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday in Nashville.

The Oilers now get some rest while waiting for their next opponent.

“Rest is always a good thing, rest is a weapon this time of year,” McDavid said. “That being said, we have to make sure we’re ready to roll. Practice hard against each other… make sure there’s no change in our game.”

Adrian Kempe, Alex Laferriere and Blake Lizotte scored for Los Angeles, and David Rittich stopped 22 shots in his second straight start.

Edmonton eliminated Los Angeles in the opening round for the third straight year after coming out on top in six games in 2023 and seven in 2022.

“You’re out of the playoffs regardless of who beats you, but definitely not a great feeling getting the worst of it three years in a row,” the Kings’ Anze Kopitar said. ”We’ve just got to play better, really. Special teams hurt us a lot, obviously, this series. There were parts of the games where we were good, we were dictating the game, but you’ve got to do it, obviously, more often and every game, too, in order to win the series.”

Down 2-1 in the second period, the Oilers scored three consecutive goals to take a 4-2 lead.

Draisaitl had a power-play goal at 7:44 after a couple exchanges with McDavid to tie it. Rittich appeared to rob Draisaitl with a desperation glove save, but fans cheered as if it were a goal upon seeing the replay and officials ruled the puck crossed the line after a video review.

McDavid and Draisaitl connected again just after a penalty expired with 7:39 left in the period for the German forward’s fifth of the playoffs.

“When he’s got his feet moving, when he’s playing hard on both sides of the puck, there’s not many guys better than him in the whole world,” McDavid said. “He always seems to bring that game this time of year.”

The undisciplined Kings put Edmonton up a man again near the end of the period. This time, Hyman tapped home a puck on the goal line moments after Kings forward Pierre-Luc Dubois stepped out of the box to make it 4-2.

The Oilers hunkered down to hold off the Kings most of the third. But with the goalie pulled, Kempe deflected a shot past Skinner with 2:18 left to trim the deficit to one.

The Kings pressured for an equalizer in the final two minutes until Phillip Danault hooked Draisaitl with 19.7 seconds left — sending Edmonton on a power play and squashing LA’s chances of a comeback.

Kane opened the scoring on Edmonton’s second shot of the night at 10:17 with a soft backhand that slipped past Rittich.

Los Angeles tied it with 28 seconds left in the first when the puck caromed around the boards and bounced in front of the net to Laferriere, who shot into an open net with Skinner out to play the puck.

Lizotte then scored 3:08 into the second to give Los Angeles its only lead of the game and quiet Rogers Place before Edmonton responded with an onslaught.

It’s the first time the Oilers have advanced from the first round in three straight years since 1990-92.

The Oilers fell 4-2 in the second round to the eventual Stanley Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights last year.

McDavid became the sixth player to record 10 or more assists through the first five games of the playoffs — and the first in nearly 30 years. Draisaitl joined McDavid and Sidney Crosby as the third active player to record 10 points in four or more playoff series.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

 
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