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The Day After +2.0: Oilers blow another two-goal lead against Kings but lock things down in third to tie series

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
11 months ago
Game 2 was starting to look a lot like Game 1 for the Edmonton Oilers.
They came flying out of the gates and opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game when Derek Ryan found the back of the net. Later in the period, before the Kings even had a shot on Stuart Skinner, Leon Draisaitl put them up by a score of 2-0 with his second goal of the playoffs.
But as we all learned on Monday night when Edmonton blew two different two-goal leads, these pesky L.A. Kings aren’t going to go away that easily. The Kings lulled the Oilers into their trap and scored a couple of greasy goals in the second frame to knot the score at 2-2.
The difference between this game and the first game of the series was that the Oilers were able to lock things down in the third period. Klim Kostin scored a couple of minutes into the first frame to give Edmonton their lead back and they managed to hold off Los Angeles’ push.

What they said…

“I’ll be honest. I think the third in Game 1 we did a lot of the same thing,” Mattias Ekholm said about shutting the door in the third period. “We flipped them up, made them go 200 feet the whole time. They didn’t really get any sustained offense. It’s about when they get the red and dump it in. It’s about breaking out and not having them spend too much time in our end and I think we did that even better tonight. Obviously, the result followed.”
“You’re not going to win 16 games by your top two lines scoring every goal and doing everything,” Draisaitl said about getting goals from Derek Ryan and Klim Kostin. “You need guys like Klimmer, you need guys like Derek Ryan to chip in every once in a while. All year, we’ve been really, really lucky at finding those guys and having those guys on our team.”
“It’s emotion, right?” Zach Hyman said of Klim Kostin. “Klim is a guy who plays with emotion and he’s physical, he’s got a great shot; he almost scored one in the first too when he hit the bar and then was able to put that one in. Just a great goal for him and a great goal for our team.”
“I was looking for Leo [Draisaitl] actually,” Kostin said. “I was just trying to give the puck [to] his hands. I trust him more than myself. I saw three guys around me. I had nothing to do [but] shoot the puck and it went in.”
“He’s been the best player on the ice for two games in the series, by far,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said of Leon Draisaitl. “He found a way to get things done in different ways and it was a big reason we won the game tonight.”
“Yeah, not to us. It didn’t look like that,” Woodcroft said when asked if he saw the game slipping away. “Actually, you know what, for us, we have a team that I thought played a really good hockey game again today save for maybe a few minutes there in the second period we would’ve liked to have back. In between periods, we talked about how that’s a growth opportunity for our team and as we move forward here in both games, I thought we controlled the bulk of the play in both games. We had a couple of minutes we’d like to have back in both games, but in the end, we found a way to win the game tonight.”
“It’s a poor recipe for taking a swing at this Edmonton team, falling behind,” Kings head coach Todd McLellan said. “When you’re ahead you have a much better chance of checking and not taking as much risk as you have to come back. The frustrating thing for me is that there were some things that we needed to do early in the game. We didn’t decide to do them until the second, third period.”

THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY


Parting notes…

  • Stuart Skinner took a frustrating loss in his first-ever playoff game on Monday but he handled it like a veteran afterward, saying that it was important for him to wake up the next day and put it behind him. The Edmonton native stood tall for the Oilers in Game 2, as Skinner stopped 22 of the 24 shots that the Kings threw at him. With the win, Skinner became the first Oilers rookie goaltender to win a playoff game since the 1980s. Andy Moog did so in 1981 and Grant Fuhr did so in 1982.
  • The Oilers got only one opportunity with the man advantage in Game 2 and Leon Draisaitl scored to make the score 2-0. The Kings, meanwhile, got four opportunities on the man advantage and the Oilers killed all of them off. For the series, Edmonton has had four power play opportunities and they’ve scored on two while the Kings have had 10 and they’ve also scored twice.
  • Speaking of Draisaitl, he picked up three points in Game 2 and now has five points through two games in the playoffs. For his career, Draisaitl has 61 points over 38 career playoff games, which is good for second all-time in terms of points-per-game average behind only Wayne Gretzky.
  • The series will now flip to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4. The series has followed the same script as last year’s so far, with the Kings winning Game 1 in Edmonton and the Oilers battling back to win Game 2 at home. Last year, the Oilers spanked the Kings 8-2 in Game 3 and then got completely shut down in a 4-0 loss in Game 4.

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