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Clips and Quotes: Edmonton Oilers overpower LA Kings 8-2 in game three win

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Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
6 months ago
The Kings are on the ropes.
And the Oilers in the driver seat. What a win. Big game four on Sunday.

The Clips

The Quotes

Connor McDavid

On if it felt like a momentum-changing game in the series: “I thought they had really good pushes tonight. The score didn’t necessarily show that, but I thought they had a good first period and we found a way to get two. They pushed hard there after the game got to five. They had good pushes, they’re a solid team over there, they play a great system. This is long way from over.”
On Smith holding off the Kings’ pushes: “He was good. Just a typical Schmiddy performance. Moves the puck well, gets us out of trouble when they’re on the forecheck. He just swallowed everything, nothing came off him which was huge.”
On smith’s comeback after the game one mistake: “There’s going to be ups and downs, there’s no doubt about that. There’s gonna be things that go wrong along the way. That’s just one of those things. He’s played great the last two.”
On what he’s most happy about since the game one loss: “Just finding ways to win games. That’s all that matters this time of year. It doesn’t matter how it looks or what happens, I think we’ve done a good job of playing well, playing hard. We’ve been physical, they kind of pushed back today, and I thought we responded well.”
On how important it was to have a quick start and play with a lead: “It was really important. Anytime you can come in someone’s building and get the jump on them, I think it’s huge. We were able to do that, but I thought they had a great first period. I don’t think we deserved to be up 2 there. Made a couple good plays and kind of held on in the first. I thought our game got going early in the second.”
On big games from Kane and Hyman: “It takes everybody up and down the lineup. I thought clouder’s line was great, too. They brought a lot of energy, a lot of jump and were physical and hard on guys I thought we got contributions up and down the lineup.”
On the most underappreciated value of Kane’s game: “It’s his finishing. He just finds a way to be in the right spot to put it in the back of the net. He’s hard on the forecheck, physical but he seems to be in the right spot at the right time.”
On if he feels the oilers have settled into playoff hockey: “I don’t think you ever settle in and relax. Maybe a little more comfortable than game one. There’s always going to be jitters and stuff like that. We got them out and played two good ones.”
On the Oilers’ special teams clicking, if it’s a return to their early-season success: “Yeah. Early in the season it was real good and we kind of got away from that in the middle of the season and our 5×5 game got real solid and the special teams kind of dropped away.”

Evander Kane

On getting early leads: “I think we’re a real good team with the lead. I think scoring early, countering their push early and getting two was a good start for us. We knew we had a lot better after that first period going into the second and I thought we did a great job of responding with a push ourselves.”
On the Oilers’ offensive outburst in games two and three: “I think our 5×5 game has gotten a lot better. Obviously, our special teams have been real good throughout these three games. I think it’s that time of year where you want to raise your game to another level. I think there’s a lot of guys who are doing that right now.”
On Smith’s game: “He was great. I thought he was really really solid for us in the first period there. They had a push, some powerplays, and he kept us in the game and got us out of there with a 2-0 lead. He’s been really good this series.”
On Smith’s response after game one: “I think I mentioned it last game. He’s a competitive guy, he’s mentally tough and everybody makes mistakes. It’s all about how you respond.”
On the Oilers’ scoring being spread out: “Like I said, I think coming into the playoffs you’re excited. Your group has a lot of self-belief and want to take their game to the next level. You’re seeing that throughout the lineup.”
On if the Oilers have settled into their game: “I think so. There’s still room for our game to improve. I think we can have better starts, I don’t think we’ve had a great start in any three games this series. We’ve stuck with it and we’re continuing to build our game.”
On if the Oilers outscoring the kings 14-2 in the last two, on not getting too far ahead of themselves: “I don’t really think we look at it as it’s 14-2, we look at it as we’re up 2-1 in the series with a really important game on Sunday. That’s our focus moving forward.”
On the Oilers developing the ability to win: “I think we get up 5-0, they come with a little push in the second and score two. There’s lots of hockey left to play. They get their fans back in the building, they get some energy on their bench, but we come out and stick with it. We have a strong third period and we continue to push the pace and not sit back. I think that’s a real key to winning. When you get leads, it’s what do you do with them. Do you sit back and get comfortable, or do you continue to push? I think we’re doing a good job of it.”
On his first playoff hat trick: “The beginning of the year was really tough with a lot of different things going on in my life. A real credit to my family helping me through everything. My uncle is actually in the hospital and I wanted to have a big game for him. There’s a lot of trials and tribulations. It’s nice to turn the page and start to move forward in a way.”
On when he finally felt comfortable on the team, playing with McDavid: “I think honestly right when I got to the rink on the first day, I was really comfortable. Guys were awesome and made me feel right at home. In terms of my on-ice game, probably took me 10-15 games to get comfortable again and get my legs back. Playing with Connor for the first time, it’s going to take a bit to build some chemistry but I think we’ve done a great job of building that and continuing to grow that.”

Jay Woodcroft

On the game: “The most important thing is we found a way to get the win. I thought there was lots to like in our game today. Contributions up and down the lineup. Big-time goaltending, special teams were good again. It was a good game for us tonight.”
On if the game was a continuation momentum-wise from game two: “I’m not a big believer in carryover. I think you have to re-establish things. I think heading into tonight’s game, we expected a push from them. Certainly a lot of shots on net from all angles. I thought we displayed some perseverance, some persistence and some patience to our game and struck when the time was right. I think it’s a good sign for us we got contributions from everyone in a big team win.”
On how much closer the game could’ve been without Smith: “I thought mike was very good. I think mike’s been very good the whole series. He certainly calms the waters there. You have to understand too, and it’s something we’ve talked to our players about, the tactic of shooting from all angles and stuff, on the shot clock it feels like there’s a lot of numbers up there. But when we go back and look at the game, we try and look for chances and what we’re giving up and understanding that. When we needed mike, he was there. He’s been rock solid the entire series.”
On keeping the Kings at bay: “We certainly gave up a few chances, but I thought we did some things to limit high-quality ones and that’s a credit to our players because it takes a lot of effort and it’s a demanding style to play. What I take most joy out as a coach is watching all of the people in our lineup contribute and bring that type of effort and intensity because it’s been quite noticeable.”
On Smith’s bounceback from his game one mistake: “I thought game one was a 3-3 hockey game in the third period, I thought we had the chance to win that game. In the end, there was a puck handle that made awry but he made a big save. The goal that went it was shot in off net and went in off someone’s pants. I wouldn’t go there. I think we’ve had a chance to win all three games here and as I said after game two, our enjoyment is going to come here in the next 15 minutes or so. Then we’re going to rest up, rejuvenate and get ready for game number four.”
On 6-0, 8-2 wins and potentially pulling away: “I don’t see it like that. Each game is worth the game. In a playoff series, your job is to try to get to four. The score of the game doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-1 triple overtime game, or if it’s a little bit more lopsided, that doesn’t matter. We have to make sure that we’re doing the necessary things to see how we played clearly. What can improve, what we want to continue to emphasize, and if we do that and rest up properly, I think it’ll serve us well heading into game four.”
On Kane: “He’s a finisher. He’s someone who can score. He’s paired up with Connor, and Connor’s one of the best playmakers in the world, the best player in the world. When you pair a finisher with the best player in the world, good things are happening. I also think, and I’ve said this to him personally, I think he has really good habits in his game. He does a lot of really good things. He goes to hard areas, he stops, he doesn’t fly by. Confrontation, he’s physical, he invests on other teams’ defence core and he’s been a real good addition for us. He’s been a big part of why we’re at where we’re at.”
On what he sensed on the Oilers bench when they built their lead: “Composure, calm. Really good communication. I really liked the talk on our bench, even when the other team pushed a little bit in the second period there. Our guys are saying the right things. It’s a fun group to stand behind. Tonight, it was a good win for us. Like I said, I’m trying to bring it back to the baseline here. We’re going to do what we need to do to recuperate and get ready for game number four on Sunday.”
On if there’s extra value to early goals against a young kings team: “Well we’ve got a lot of young players with not a lot of playoff experience as well. Some of our young guys are getting their footing in important playoff series. Anytime you’re coming off a non-win in a playoff series, you usually get the other teams’ best effort off the bat. We were ready for it. I thought we were surgical in taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. I thought they ran around a little bit to get physical with us, we handled it with good composure. We made more plays than them and we ended up getting the win tonight.”
On when he sensed Evander Kane getting comfortable: “You got to remember too that I came up February 10th, Dave Manson and I came up from Bakersfield. I wasn’t part of the whole signing of Evander. I only know what I see. I see someone who is a good professional, someone who goes to the rink every day with a purpose to be the best he can be. Someone who compliments some of the best players in the world. I see a good teammate, and he certainly makes us a better team.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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