Oilers' Draisaitl scores twice, Kings eliminated in five games

May 1, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings shake hands after
May 1, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings shake hands after / Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight season, the Edmonton Oilers have eliminated the Los Angeles Kings. With a 4-3 win, the Oilers now move to the second round where they will face either the Vancouver Canucks or the Nashville Predators.

Edmonton star Connor McDavid had 12 points in the opening round, one that leaves Los Angeles with plenty of questions.

The Edmonton Oilers dominated the Los Angeles Kings in the first round

Edmonton relies on usual suspects

Throughout the series, Edmonton has provided a high-octane offense that Los Angeles could not stop.McDavid skated his way through the neutral zone almost untouched, leading to a double-digit point total in the five games.

No Kings defenseman had an answer for Edmonton forward Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl scored two big goals in the elimination game. The Oilers' offensive game is top-notch, leaving the Los Angeles defense with no answers in the defensive zone.

Kings need defensive adjustments

One thing that should be addressed by Kings' General Manager Rob Blake is the defense. Los Angeles has a smaller defense core that needs to get bigger and more physical.

Too many times throughout this series, Edmonton did whatever they wanted in the Kings' defensive zone and the Kings left them open to create offense. Andreas Englund, the Kings' top physical defenseman with size, was nowhere to be found and was often out of place.

Hyman was parked in front of the Los Angeles net without a defenseman creating havoc and trying to remove him from the spot in front of the net.

No physical play along the boards, the defense did not stand up to the Oilers forwards at the blue line, nor did they cut down the angles once inside the zone. That is a big issue to fix before the start of the 2024-25 season.

They Oilers did what they had to do

Edmonton came into this series as the favorite and they did not take their foot off the gas pedal. They got goaltending from Stuart Skinner.

The defense was physical, closed gaps, and suffocated the Kings offense regularly. The forwards were creating offense from the drop of the puck in game one and scored timely goals.

For Los Angeles, this loss hurts and they go into the off-season not knowing who played their last game wearing a Kings jersey. For Edmonton, they played a complete series and did their job to perfection.

Los Angeles came into the first round with something to prove, looking to change things up and eliminate the Oilers as Edmonton had done the same thing to them the previous two playoff seasons.

The Kings put up a good fight but the series was dominated by Edmonton. Los Angeles simply has no answers for this powerful team.

The Kings now have the off-season to figure things out and come back better and stronger next season. Edmonton now relaxes and waits for their second-round opponent to be announced.