Oilers tie series with big playoff win over Kings in Game 2

Apr 20 2023, 4:51 am

The Edmonton Oilers got exactly what they needed.

After dropping Game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3 in overtime on Monday, the Oilers levelled the series on Wednesday night with a 4-2 win in front of a raucous crowd at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

While the Kings made another tenacious comeback, Klim Kostinā€™s early third-period goal proved the difference between the two teams, as the Oilers head down to California with a split at home.

For Edmonton, it avoided a similar collapse to the one they opened the series with when they dropped a 2-0 lead that eventually led to the overtime loss. After fans threw objects onto the ice following the opening game loss, the Oilers made sure to avoid that fate in the second game.

“They’re a good team,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said after Game 2. “It’s a playoff series; we knew it was gonna be tough, and overall we’ve liked most of our game, just little stretches here and there where they seem to be capitalizing and really gaining momentum.”

Things couldnā€™t have started better for the energized Oilers as Derek Ryan opened the scoring 2:34 into the first period, sliding the puck through the legs of Kings goalie Joonas Korpisalo.

Later in the frame, an Oilers power play clicked to double the lead as Alex Iafallo went to the penalty box on a tripping call, allowing McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to link up and double Edmonton’s lead.

Similar to the series opener, the Oilers let their lead quickly evaporate, as Phillip Danault scored to make it 2-1, before Gabe Vilardi found a goal of his own to tie the game in the final minute of the second period.

Kostin’s winner came 2:20 into the final frame, while Stuart Skinner picked up the win, making 22 saves in Edmonton’s crease. At the same time, Korpisalo made 33 stops.

The Oilers’ power play finished the night one-for-three, while the Kings scored their two goals on the advantage. Edmonton killed LA’s four other power plays.

While the Oilers found their goals early, Korpisalo and the Kings’ defence is proving to be a tough challenge, forcing Edmonton to pile on chances, despite minimal returns.

“Give them credit, they’re a good team. They’re a really good defensive team; they play hard, they don’t give you much space,” Oilers defenceman Zach Hyman said.

“We’ve had our looks, and it will fall eventually, but the key thing is just driving play; you want to be driving play in the other team’s zone, and once you get chances, good things come from there.”

Evander Kane added an empty-net goal to seal the victory.

With the series tied and without centre Mattias Janmark, the Oilers head down to LA looking to take a series lead, with Game 3 set for Friday at 8 pm MT.

Ben SteinerBen Steiner

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