McDavid’s 2 goals not enough as Oilers fall to Kings in OT, trail series 2-1

The Los Angeles Kings scored an overtime power-play goal for the second time in three games to lead their first-round playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers two games to one.

Trevor Moore from nearby Thousand Oaks, Calif., produced the OT winner in Friday’s 3-2 victory to the delight of the packed Arena.

Gabriel Vilardi from behind the goal line dished to Moore at the side of the net for the latter to shovel under Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner.

A review of the goal for a potential high stick just seconds before Moore scored had players from both teams hovering by the benches for a few minutes. When it was ruled valid, the arena erupted again.

“It was awesome. Super-fun playing in that building,” Moore said. “That energy was like nothing else.”

WATCH | Controversial OT goal lifts Kings over Oilers in Game 3:

Controversial overtime goal gives Kings 2-1 series lead over Oilers

Trevor Moore scored in the first overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win, but celebrations were halted while the play was reviewed, to try to determine whether Kings forward Gabriel Vilardi touched the puck with a high stick before the goal was scored.

Game 4 in the best-of-seven affair is Sunday in L.A. before the series flips back to Edmonton for Tuesday’s Game 5.

The Kings took the opener 4-3 in OT followed by the Oilers’ 4-2 win at Rogers Place in Game 2.

Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe also scored for the Kings, who have gone 13-2-2 at home since the NHL all-star break.

Los Angeles goaltender Joonas Korpisalo posted a third straight playoff outing of over 30 saves with a series-high 38 on Friday.

“His play gets overlooked,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “In all three games, he was there. He made the saves to keep us in the game. He’s been doing a phenomenal job for us.”

Oilers’ captain and NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid’s two power-play goals were his first of the post-season. Defenceman Evan Bouchard had two assists and Skinner stopped 28 shots in the loss.

Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a slashing minor on Game 1 overtime hero Iafallo, which gave Los Angeles a man advantage.

“He cuts across the middle and I try to clamp down on his stick and not take a whack,” Nugent-Hopkins explained “Obviously I came down too hard. I think his stick might have broke.

“The ref, I can’t fault him for that. I came down too hard and break his stick, so I’ve got to maybe have better position to not put myself in that situation.”

Oilers defenceman Vincent Desharnais was serving a tripping minor Monday when Iafallo scored.

Goal review

Friday’s overtime goal review was to determine whether the puck flying in the air flicked off the upraised stick of Vilardi just before Moore’s winner.

“It’s a play where the greatest player in the world is two feet away as it happens and his arm come straight up in the air because he knows that it hit the stick,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said in reference to McDavid.

“Otherwise he wouldn’t put his arm up in the air. He would keep playing. It appears to me in the video that the puck is going straight up in a trajectory and deadens.”

Edmonton’s two power-play goals on four chances had the Oilers four-for-eight so far this series. The Kings scored twice on five opportunities and were four-for-15.

The Oilers’ power-play ranked first in the NHL and the Kings’ fourth this season.

McDavid’s two goals spotted the visitors a 2-1 lead early in the second, but the Kings countered with a power-play goal at 9:40 to draw even.

Viktor Arvidsson whipped the puck up ice and off the corner boards for Kempe to corral and blast a slapshot under Skinner’s glove to knot the score 2-2.

McDavid scored twice from the same spot on the ice just above the hash marks to Korpisalo’s right. He went bar-down with a laser far side at 7:42 and whipped another shot high short-side at 8:20.

A male ice hockey player touches gloves with teammates while skating past the bench.
Connor McDavid celebrates at the Edmonton bench after tying the game during the second period. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Kings scored the first goal of the game for the first time in the series. Iafallo struck with 32 seconds left in the opening period.

“We’ve talked at length to have better starts because the two starts in Edmonton definitely weren’t the greatest,” Kopitar said. “We wanted to come out strong, feed off the crowd. Scoring first certainly doesn’t hurt.”

Arvidsson and Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse were moving at high speed through the neutral zone in the first period when their left skates collided, which sent Arvidsson flipping in the air.

Nurse was assessed a tripping minor, but Arvidsson was also penalized for throwing his stick.

The Swedish winger left the ice favouring his left leg, but was back on the ice later in the period.

Forward Mattias Janmark remained out of Edmonton’s lineup after taking a shot off the foot in Game 1, so the Oilers continued a configuration of seven defencemen and 11 forwards.

Blake Lizotte, who dressed for the first two games of the series, was scratched from the Kings lineup because of a lower-body injury. He was replaced by Jaret Dolan-Anderson.

Los Angeles remained minus Kevin Fiala, who was the Kings’ No. 2 in points behind Kopitar during the regular season. Fiala has yet to play in the series.

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