GDB +1.0 Wrap Up: Oilers blow two-goal lead(s) as Kings open series with overtime win
Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
The Los Angeles Kings have taken a 1-0 lead in their first-round series with the Edmonton Oilers.
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The Oilers flew out of the gates and scored two goals in the first period, one from Leon Draisaitl and one from Evan Bouchard on the power play. After a scoreless second period, the Kings scored early in the third to bring themselves to within one goal but Draisaitl answered back to make the score 3-1.
It looked like the Oilers were cruising to a win but then Adrian Kempe scored to cut their lead to one goal. With just under two minutes on the clock, Evan Bouchard took a high-sticking penalty. The Oilers were able to kill off most of the penalty but Anze Kopitar scored with 17 seconds left on the clock to tie the game.
The Kings again capitalized on the man advantage in overtime. Vincent Deshrnais got called for tripping and Alex Iafallo ended the game shortly after.
There’s no sugarcoating it though, that was a brutal way to end a game that Edmonton should have won. It’s hard to take away positives when you can only lose three games in a series if you want to advance, but let’s look at the player of the game, and things worth mentioning.
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Oilersnation’s player of the game: Leon Draisaitl
Heading into the third period, I was sure it was either going to be Evan Bouchard or Stuart Skinner taking the award, but alas, the third period saw plenty of scoring.
So tonight’s player of the game goes to Leon Draisaitl, who scored the opening goal for the Oilers, as well as the third goal which gave them their 3-1 lead.
It was a whole lot of good and barely any bad for the 27-year-old German-born player. Hopefully, he can continue to dominate the playoffs as he has throughout his career.
Things worth mentioning:
The final penalty was a bad call. Blaze Lizotte undercuts Vincent Desharnais, causing him to fall and lose control of his stick. While Desharnais did swing his stick around and stumbled Lizotte, it was the broken stick on the ground which actually tripped the LA King as he tried to push off. I broke down the play below.
With that being said, the Oilers have to do a much better job of closing that game down. They had a two-goal lead with under 10 minutes remaining in the third period of game one, you can’t blow that. Even more disheartening was the goal with just over 16 seconds remaining to tie the game. They’ll have to be better if they want to go far at all in the playoffs.
Evan Bouchard had a mixed game. Up until the third period, he was in contention for the player of the game, as he had scored a goal and showed his composure on several plays. However, a late penalty with two minutes remaining gave the Kings an opportunity to go 6 on 4, before tying the game. He’s a young player and he’ll only get better.
Evander Kane can be tough to watch sometimes. He’s a good goal scorer and when he’s physical as he was tonight, he’s fun to watch. However, takes some questionable penalties that can really sink a team. First was the trip, which I admittedly missed. The second penalty, a high sticking call, towards the end of the second was not a good penalty to take though. Stay engaged Kane, but be careful with your stick.
Connor McDavid wasn’t quite shut down by L.A., but he wasn’t as noticeable as he usually is. Including the regular season, this was only the eighth time this year he’s been held off the score sheet. It’s frustrating as well, because he had an opportunity to take a shot, but elected to pass to Draisaitl, which directly led to the Kings’ first goal.
Mattias Janmark continues to be one of my favourite players to watch. When he signed with the Oilers, I didn’t think much of it, but he has continued to show what a true bottom-six player is, which the organization had lacked during the decade of darkness. He had an assist in the game, but the 30-year-old could have had even more.
The Oilers just don’t win game ones. Since the long playoff drought ended, the only game one that they’ve won was back in 2017 against the Anaheim Ducks. They’ll rebound.
There was definitely some good in this game, but the Oilers will have to play a full 60 of physical play and defence to get past the Kings. The team from LA is definitely no pushover, so they’ll need to be at their best.
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