Adrian Kempe scored 1:12 into overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at Rogers Place. The Kings lead the first-round playoff series 3-2.
The Kings struck first when defenceman Troy Stecher beat Oilers goaltender Mike Smith with a point shot just before the game turned four minutes old.
The Oilers were outshot 16-5 in the first but escaped down just a goal.
”Both teams have had moments. Their moments happened early in the first period,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game.
“We weren’t pleased with anything in the first period. That’s not on any one player, we just didn’t feel we had much giddy-up or jump in our step.”
“We’ve got to come out with our skating legs underneath us, and we haven’t had that for any games, really, in this series,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said.
After killing off a penalty to Evander Kane early in the second, the Oilers pulled even. With Kings netminder Jonathan Quick caught out of the crease, Oilers captain Connor McDavid centred the puck to Zack Kassian for his first goal of the playoffs.
Halfway through the second, Kempe swept a shot under Smith to make it 2-1 for L.A.
Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou made it 3-1 when he outwaited Smith at the side of the goal.
“They’re doing a good job of getting pucks to the net early in games,” McDavid said.
The Oilers scored three seconds into a power play early in the third. The puck went to the net off the faceoff and McDavid lifted a backhand over Quick.
With Oilers forward Ryan McLeod serving a double-minor for high-sticking, Kings forward Phillip Danault made it 4-2.
“They scored four last game and five this game — that’s nine over the last two games,” Woodcroft said. “We scored four tonight, that should be enough to win a game.
“There are some things we can tighten up.”
On the second half of the minor, Draisaitl followed a rush led by McDavid and snapped in his fourth for the Oilers’ second shorthanded goal of the series.
With 5:23 to go, Danault went off for interference on Edmonton’s Evander Kane. Draisaitl fired in a one-timer off a pass from McDavid to make it 4-4 with 4:52 remaining.
In overtime, Kempe stormed in down the right wing, cut in front and slid the puck past Smith.
“We had the momentum going in (to overtime),” Draisaitl said. “Obviously, the break didn’t come at a time in our favour, but that’s how the game works.
“Now we have to go to L.A. and win a game and make sure we bring (the series) back here.”
Game 6 will be Thursday in Los Angeles. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 6 p.m. The actual game starts at 8 p.m.
–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED
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