What to expect in Game 3 versus the Los Angeles Kings

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
8 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers had a great opportunity on Wednesday night to take full control of their first-round series versus the Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately for the hometown faithful at Rogers Place, Anze Kopitar silenced the crowd, scoring the overtime winner to tie the series up at one.
Despite the setbacks on Wednesday night, the Oilers showed remarkable resilience, pushing the game into overtime. This display of determination has left many optimistic about their ability to bounce back in Game 3. If they can perform at this level even when things aren’t going their way, imagine what they can achieve when they’re firing on all cylinders.
Let’s take a look at a few things to expect ahead of tonight’s battle in the City of Angels.

The Connor McDavid Counter

In Game 1, Connor McDavid ran the Kings show, becoming the first player in over 25 years to get five assists in a Stanley Cup playoff game. Unfortunately, that same performance didn’t happen in Game 2, with only one assist for McDavid, which came on the Zach Hyman powerplay goal. Why did this happen? The Kings did a great job of swarming McDavid every time he touched the puck in the offensive zone. They set up their 1-3-1 wall in the neutral zone and immediately surrounded him, limiting his ability to generate his usual speed. Tonight, expect to see McDavid figure that out and get back on track as the Oilers look to take a series lead. You can only contain the best player in the world for so long.

Stuart Skinner Rebounds

Look, there’s no denying that Stuart Skinner struggled in Game 2. I didn’t love the Drew Doughty goal against, which killed the atmosphere in Rogers Place following the Brett Kulak goal, and many other didn’t like the Kevin Fiala goal in the third period. Everyone wanted to point back at last postseason suggesting that Skinner isn’t a playoff calibre goaltender and one that you can’t win with. When you go back and look, he had one bad versus the Kings in the playoffs last season and that was four when he was pulled when he allowed three goals on 11 shots. He finished with an 0.873 save percentage in that series, but if you erase that stinker in Game 4 then you’re looking at a 0.908. We all just need to relax. Skinner is more than capable and he’ll prove it tonight.

A Third Line Goal

The third of Evander Kane, Ryan McLeod and Corey Perry played very well in Game 2, minus a couple of undisciplined penalties from Perry. The line hasn’t scored a goal in the series yet, but they’ve outshot their opponents at five-on-five 12 to 11 through two games. We all know Kane loves to score big goals in L.A. and Perry is player Kings fans hate from his time in Anaheim, making this the perfect night for the two veterans to make an impact. I say that tonight is the night they break through and come up big for the Oilers.


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