The Edmonton Oilers came into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the best record since March 1st. That includes the record-breaking Boston Bruins who had the second-best record since that date. However, they knew their date with the Los Angeles Kings was going to be tough.
This is the second year in a row that Wayne Gretzky’s first two teams are squaring off in the first round. Things started to look rough for the Kings as the Oilers got out to a 2-0 lead. Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard both had outstanding shots for goals.
That 2-0 lead would hold through the rest of the first period and the entire second period. The Oilers were in good shape coming into the third period.
Adrian Kempe, who is the first Los Angeles Kings player with 40 goals in a season since 1993-94, got the Kings on the board with a beautiful backhand goal at 0:52 of the third period which put the Oilers on their toes.
The Los Angeles Kings made things difficult on the Edmonton Oilers.
Later in the third period, however, Leon Draisaitl scored his second of the game to make it feel out of reach in favor of Edmonton. Playoff Draisaitl is about as good as any NHL player in the postseason.
Adrian Kempe would add another to his total though as he scored using his amazing snapshot off a very nice poke feed from Quinton Byfield. That got the Kings right back in it and even put the Oilers on their heels a little bit.
With the goalie pulled, the Kings then had a miracle. Their captain Anze Kopitar, who has been so clutch for so long, scored a goal to force overtime. You see things like this along with remembering all the moments from his career and his success just makes sense.
The overtime period was filled with chances for both sides but the Kings earned a power play. On the power play, Anze Kopitar earned his fourth point of the night with an assist on a goal scored by Alex Iafallo. This power-play goal won the game for Los Angeles.
Don’t be surprised if this series goes the distance. The Kings may have taken game one but they did last year too and we all remember how that works out. This was a tremendously entertaining game that the Kings had to dig deep to win.
Although he played absolutely incdredible hockey in this one, Connor McDavid didn’t have any points. Expect him to have so much fun next game by showing off the fact that he is an unstoppable force. This series is far from over and 97 will be a big reason for that.
Game two of the series will come on Wednesday when the Kings visit the Oilers once again. For obvious reasons, this game is huge.