NHL Game Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings | 03/28/2024

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The vibe for this article would be different if the Jets scored the game-winner on a late powerplay that they shouldn’t have gotten. Before I explain, just so I don’t sound that much like a homer, the Oilers had no business blowing that 2 goal lead in the third period. You’d think after killing off a 4 minute double-minor and then scoring on their own 4 minute powerplay, they’d have all the momentum in the world and not easily fall over backwards. But then they allowed two quick goals in one exact minute halfway through the third period, and all the good effort before that no longer mattered.

Now, the penalty, that was really bad. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got called for a high stick that didn’t even come from his stick. In a battle for the puck in the corner, it was defenseman Dylan DeMelo’s stick that made contact with forward Adam Lowry’s face. But the ref thought it was Nuge’s stick, which expectedly made Corey Perry and Connor McDavid not too happy. All the refs got together briefly, but you can’t take back a penalty after it’s been called. It shouldn’t be hard to tell the difference in stick tape when calling that sort of penalty. Thank the Hockey Gods, Winnipeg didn’t convert on that late-man advantage, and Edmonton still won the game in Overtime, avoiding a third straight loss in regulation and a second straight similar to Sunday night in Ottawa.

The Oilers start a 2 game California style homestand. Tonight against a team trying to either secure third place in the Pacific Division or possibly pass Edmonton for second place. The keys to the game are…

Round 1 Preview?: The Oilers and Kings look almost guaranteed to play a third straight first-round series against each other. Safe to assume there must be a bit of a rivalry between these teams now. Drew Doughty stated in one pre-game that L.A. can’t stand the last two Round 1 losses against Edmonton. Look to see these teams bring Playoff like energy to this game.

Keep The Lead: It was ultimately impressive that the Oilers managed to score 4 goals on Connor Hellebuyck. But as my recap portion of this article states, they’ve blown 2 goal leads two games in a row quickly. Score as much as you want, but also learn to shut it down.

Make Statement Shifts: Tuesday night’s game was Evander Kane’s first game after being a healthy scratch against the Senators. They called the scratch a maintenance day, but Kane has gone 17 straight games without a single goal. He had a quality chance or two against the Jets. He’s a streaky player, and he has to get the more positive streak back as we inch closer to Playoff time.

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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