FINAL – Kings 2, Oilers 8 – Danault, Edler, McLellan

The LA Kings skated to their second consecutive six-goal defeat this evening, as they fell by an 8-2 margin against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday evening at Crypto.com Arena.

The Kings got goals from Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault, with Kopitar collecting two points in defeat. The Kings got 13 saves from Jonathan Quick and 16 saves from Cal Petersen in the loss.

Edmonton opened the scoring with the game’s first two goals to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. With the teams skating at 4-on-4, the Kings had three skaters caught up ice, leading to a 2-on-1 the other way. Connor McDavid hit Leon Draisaitl for the back-post tap-in, Draistial’s third goal of the series. The Oilers made it 2-0 with their fifth power-play goal of the series, as McDavid fed Zach Hyman at the back post for another tap-in goal.

The Oilers struck twice more in the early stages of the second period, taking a 4-0 lead in the process. First, forward Evander Kane scored for the third time in as many games, as he got on the end of a Cody Ceci rebound, burying from close range just 6:27 into the period. Edmonton made it 4-0 just over a minute later, as Hyman collected his second of the game with a wrist shot from the left-hand circle, with the Kings making a goaltending change following the play.

With Cal Petersen in net, Kane extended the score to 5-0 with his second goal of the period, again converting from close range. Kane did not get all of the puck on his shot, but he chipped it up and over Petersen for his series-leading fourth goal from three games played.

The Kings got on the board midway through the second period as Kopitar opened his account for the series with a great individual effort. Cutting to the slot from behind the net, Kopitar pulled the puck onto his backhand and fired top shelf on Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith, snapping a stretch of 11 consecutive goals scored by the Oilers.

LA then snapped its power-play drought late in the second period to pull within three goals at the second intermission. With the man advantage, Kopitar fed a seam pass to Adrian Kempe, who saw his one-timer denied by Edmonton netminder Mike Smith, but Danault was on hand to bury the rebound for his second goal of the series.

The Oilers scored three goals in the final stages of the third period to turn a 5-2 game into the 8-2 final. Forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice, once from a broken-stick wrist shot and the other off a center-lane drive redirection, pushing the score to 7-2. Kane completed the hat trick late in the game with a power-play goal, giving Edmonton six in the series to date.

Hear from Danault, defender Alex Edler and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s game.

Phillip Danault
On the challenge of bouncing back after two six-goal defeats
Yeah, it’s a big slap in the face tonight. We have to regroup and luckily it’s only 2-1 in the series. We need to regroup and step up next game.

On if the Kings can look at this as a 2-1 series, instead of two, six-goal losses
We have to look at it as 2-1, you do not want to dwell on all of the goals. We did not play well at all and we have to work harder and be better, everyone. We have to step up. No matter how many young guys we have, no matter how many veterans, we have to step up together and be better.

On the struggles to string together passes over the last two games
I think we have to have more confidence. We’re a good team and we’re in the playoffs for a reason. We also have to learn, we have to play better under pressure, tape-to-tape passes and execution needs to be better in every area. We have to be better defensively as well, neutral zone, o-zone, everywhere.

On the challenges of special teams so far in this series
We obviously know that with this power play, every chance they got they scored. It’s those types of players. We have to tighten up, everyone together, it can not just be one or two guys, it has to be everyone as a unit on the ice. PP, PK, 5-on-5, we have to be better in every area.

Alex Edler
On if he believes the Kings have lost their confidence after the last two defeats
No, I do not think so. You can not lose confidence this time of year. We know what kind of team we have and we have not shown it over the last two games. We just have to look ahead to the next one.

On the importance of looking at this as a 2-1 series and not two, six-goal defeats
Yeah, we did not play good enough tonight and we did not play good enough last game. We’re down 2-1 in the series and we have to do whatever we can to tie it up next game.

On getting back to the way the Kings know they can play
Like I said, we just have to look forward to the next game. We know that we have to get back to our game, a game that we’ve played many times this year and one that we know we can be successful in executing. It’s all we can do right now, just look forward.

On getting back to the way the Kings know they can play
It’s always a challenge when you play against players like that. They’re elite players and if you give them time and space they’ll make you pay.

Todd McLellan

Notes –
– Anze Kopitar (1-1-2) scored his 22nd career postseason goal, tying Justin Williams for fifth on the Kings all-time postseason goals list.
– Phillip Danault scored his second goal of the playoffs. The two goals in the three games this postseason match his total over his first 38 career postseason games.
– Adrian Kempe tallied his second assist of the playoffs on Danault’s goal.
– Forwards Rasmus Kupari and Gabe Vilardi, as well as goaltender Cal Petersen, made their postseason debuts this evening in Game 3.
– The eight goals allowed this evening are tied for the sixth-most conceded by the Kings in a playoff game in franchise history.
– The Kings are 6-11 all-time when trailing a playoff series by a 2-1 margin through three games.

The Kings are scheduled to return to the ice tomorrow at 11 AM for practice at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo.

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