Does a chance for the LA Kings to close the series out at home sound too good to be true? It was probably because they fell short to the Oilers, 4-2.
Game story (here)
The Oilers set the tempo right off of the bat and showed that they would not go down easy, with Connor McDavid scoring a wraparound goal just a little bit over two minutes into the game.
In the second period, Evander Kane found himself with one goal and then another after that, but it was taken back for goaltender interference.
Late in the period, Sean Durzi fired a bomb from the point for his first career playoff goal and brought the Kings within one goal.
Kane buried an empty-net goal minutes later to put the game away.
“If you told us we got to win one game to advance, we’d take that opportunity,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said following the game, as they’ll now head to a Game 7, win or go home situation on Saturday night.
1. Goaltending isn’t an issue
You can say for sure that goaltending wasn’t an issue for the Kings on Thursday night and shouldn’t be in Game 7.
Jonathan Quick stopped 33 of 36 shots, suitable for a .917 save percentage and 0.16 GSAx.
The Kings will need him to have a massive game on Saturday if they want to advance to the second round.
2. Evander Kane continues to torch the Kings
Everyone’s favorite player Evander Kane has just taken it to the Kings this series, and that didn’t change on Thursday, as he potted two goals and three points.
After scoring the empty-net goal late in the game, he flashed seven fingers up to the Kings’ crowd, signifying a Game 7 retaliation to Adrian Kempe‘s Game 5 overtime celebration.
Game 7 it is, Evander.
3. Win or go home
We went from a best-of-seven to a best-of-three and now a best-of-one on Saturday.
There’s no more building momentum, no more shaking it off and moving to the next game. You need to win to get in, or your season is over.
If the Kings come out flat again like they did tonight, if they’re chasing the game from the beginning, it’ll be over for them.
You need a strong start, a strong game, and a strong finish—7 p.m. on Saturday night. See you there.
“If somebody said hey, the LA Kings against the Edmonton Oilers, go play for one game, we’re not particularly happy with how we got to it tonight, but we can’t do anything about that now, so let’s look ahead. We’ve won there before and we can win there again,” head coach Todd McLellan said.