NHL Playoffs: Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings Game 3 | 04/26/2024

Photo: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

On Friday night, the LA Kings hosted the Edmonton Oilers at the Crypto.com Arena for Game 3 of Round 1 in the Western Conference. In a thrilling Game 2, the LA Kings won 5-4 in overtime, thanks to Anze Kopitar’s game-winning goal that stunned Rogers Place. The same goaltenders who started in the first two games of the series, Stuart Skinner and Cam Talbot, were set to face off against each other in a classic goalie matchup for Game 3.

The first period started with Adrian Kempe of the LA Kings receiving a penalty on Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers. However, the Kings managed to limit the Oilers’ shots and successfully stumped their power play, which gave them some momentum at Crypto.com Arena. A few minutes later, Mattias Ekholm of Edmonton was given a minor penalty, and the Oilers were also able to defend their penalty kill successfully. The first goal of the game was scored by Zach Hyman of the Oilers, who took advantage of a mistake by Drew Doughty of the Kings and managed to sneak the puck past Talbot, giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Later in the period, the Oilers went all out on the Kings with a barrage of shots, but Talbot stood up to the task and kept the deficit to only 1-0. The Kings went on the power play again but were too fancy with the puck, and the Oilers successfully defended their second penalty of the game. Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers then extended their lead to 2-0 with a wrist-shot from a sharp angle, assisted by Evander Kane. Drew Doughty of the Kings took a bad penalty in the late stages of the first, and Connor McDavid of the Oilers took advantage of the power play to tap a goal past Talbot’s blocker, extending the lead to 3-0 as the period ended.

The second period began with Stuart Skinner making multiple critical saves to maintain the three-goal lead. However, Drew Doughty eventually capitalized on Edmonton’s defensive lapses, receiving a beautiful pass from Byfield to trim the deficit to 3-1. Not long after, Evander Kane scored his first goal of the playoffs on a tip-in goal off a shot from Cody Ceci to re-establish a three-goal lead. This happened near the midway point of the game. The Oilers penalty kill dug in again, with tons of shot-blocking and lockdown defensive play to build more momentum off a questionable hooking call towards the end of the second. Stuart Skinner remained solid for the rest of the period and kept the lead at 4-1 with many key saves heading into the second intermission.

In the third period, the LA Kings came out with a strong offensive push, unleashing a barrage of shots and making multiple shifts in the offensive zone. However, Stuart Skinner, the Edmonton Oilers’ goaltender, remained steadfast and denied every attempt. Later, there was a dirty hit to the head on Evander Kane by Andreas Englund in the open ice, which resulted in a 2-minute 5-on-3 power-play for Edmonton. They made the most of it with a sharp pass from McDavid to Hyman, who scored to extend the lead to 5-1. This was Hyman’s 6th goal in just three playoff games, which is an impressive feat. Following this, the Kings’ discipline began to falter as they took consecutive undisciplined penalties. Leon Draisaitl capitalized on a power-play opportunity and scored from his usual spot to increase the lead to 6-1.

The Edmonton Oilers emerged victorious in Game 3 with a final score of 6-1 over the LA Kings. They are set to face off against the LA Kings on Sunday night at the Crypto.com Arena for Game 4. During the previous game, the Kings were unable to create any scoring opportunities, while Edmonton successfully defended all five of their penalty kills and scored on three of their eight power-play opportunities. In order to avoid falling behind 3-1 in the series, the Kings must make a comeback on Sunday night. The Kings need to avoid giving Edmonton any chances to score by staying out of the penalty box and minimizing their turnovers in their own end.

Three Stars of the Game:
1) Leon Draisaitl- 2 Goals, 1 Assist
2) Connor Mcdavid- 1 Goal, 2 Assists
3) Evander Kane- Gordie Howe Hat-Trick (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 1 Fight)

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Matthew Buhrmann

Writer at Inside the Rink l Covering Cincinnati Cyclones l Student @uofcincy l @Mbuhrmann61 on socials

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