Oilers push Kings to brink of elimination with dominating Game 5 win

Apr 26 2023, 4:19 am

Nothing came easy for the Edmonton Oilers during the first four games of this series.

That all changed on Tuesday night.

The Oilers scored early and often in Game 5 en route to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place.

Edmonton will have a chance to finish off the series in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Coming into the game, Kings netminder Joonas Korpisalo had statistically been one of the best goalies so far in the 2023 NHL playoffs.

That was irrelevant in this contest, as the Finnish goaltender was chased midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 19 shots.

Evander Kane, who made headlines earlier this week by making allegations that a Kings fan spit on a 10-year-old Oilers fan, opened the scoring on an early power play.

Leon Draisaitl then continued his unreal stretch of play by scoring his league-leading sixth goal of the postseason.

Brett Kulak also scored his first ever NHL playoff goal in his 44th career postseason game.

The Kings kept things close with two first period goals of their own, but by the time Nick Bjugstad scored in the second period to make it 4-2, Korpisalo’s night was finished.

Bjugstad actually scored two goals for the Oilers, on a night where the team received contributions from their entire lineup.

Of the 18 Edmonton skaters who dressed, only five failed to register a point.

Zach Hyman, who came up clutch for the Oilers in Game 4 with a massive overtime winner, scored again for Edmonton in Game 5.

It certainly wasn’t the prettiest goal, as Evan Bouchard’s slap shot deflected off of his face and into the net.

One of the big talking points heading into the game was the Oilers decision to stick with Stuart Skinner, after the rookie netminder was pulled during Game 4 in favour of Jack Campbell.

Skinner settled in after a tepid start, making 23 saves on 26 shots for the victory.

Skinner didn’t mince words when asked by Sportsnet’s Scott Oake postgame if he was playing at his best.

“No, not at all. Even tonight, I was pretty average again.

“Just being able to get the win, that’s the most important thing. The guys did a great job in front of me.”

After three of the first four games went to overtime, this was easily the Oilers most convincing win of the series. Even during their Game 2 victory, they blew a two-goal lead before rallying for the win.

Oilers and their fans were having a good time throughout the contest. Not only was the team scoring early and often, but some members of the hometown crowd had some fun with trolling Kings fan Will Ferrell.

Edmonton will have to win on the road in Los Angeles if they want to avoid any Game 7 drama.

However, they have to be feeling pretty good about the fact that they’ve yet to lose in regulation during this series.

Trevor BeggsTrevor Beggs

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