Oilers fall in overtime as Iafallo’s power-play goal helps Kings steal Game 1
Alex Iafallo scored the overtime winner for the visiting Los Angeles Kings in a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers to open their first-round playoff series Monday.
Iafallo scored a power-play goal at 9:19 of OT by converting a Victor Arvidsson feed from behind the net.
Adrian Kempe scored twice and Anze Kopitar had a goal and three assists for Los Angeles, which held Oilers captain and NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid off the scoresheet.
Leon Draisaitl countered with a pair of goals and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers (50-23-9), who ranked second in the Pacific Division this season ahead of third-seeded Kings (47-25-10).
Oilers starter Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots in his NHL playoff debut.
THAT’S AN LA KINGS GAME 1 WIN pic.twitter.com/zFsZNLPVuu
Edmonton defenceman Vincent Desharnais was penalized in overtime for tripping Blake Lizotte, although Lizotte appeared to step on a broken stick on the ice and fall.
The Oilers almost ended it at 1:54 of OT, but officials ruled Ryan McLeod’s shot from the blue line deflected off Derek Ryan’s high stick.
The Oilers will try even the series in Wednesday’s Game 2 at Rogers Place.
Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven affair are Friday and Sunday at Crypto.com Arena.
Edmonton also dropped the opener of a first-round series against the Kings last year, but the Oilers took it four games to three to advance.
CAPTAIN! WANTED! OVERTIME! pic.twitter.com/AStCMDzoKS
The Oilers led Monday’s opener 2-0 after the first and second periods before a four-goal third.
Kempe halved the deficit 52 seconds into the third period when the clubs played four aside.
Draisaitl restored Edmonton’s two-goal lead at 8:46 only for Kempe to pull his team within a goal again at 11:23.
With Bouchard serving a high-sticking penalty, and Korpisalo pulled for an extra attacker, Kopitar produced the equalizer with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.
Quinton Byfield fed Kempe following an offensive zone faceoff for the latter to beat Skinner with a shot far side for his second goal of the game.
Korpisalo made the initial save on Draisaitl’s backhand attempt as the big centre skated out from behind the net.
The puck squirted loose in the ensuing goalmouth scramble. Draisaitl skating by again reached back to get a shot away for his second goal.
Kempe cut from the wing to the high slot and put a backhand by Skinner’s glove for his first of the game.
#2 capitalizes on the two-man advantage to put us up by two pic.twitter.com/m6VUllo3Bp
The Oilers killed off a pair of penalties early in a goal-free second period.
The hosts led 2-0 on Bouchard’s first-period, power-play goal at 12:31. On a 5-on-3, the defenceman strode in from the blue line to ring a shot off the post and into the net.
Bouchard nearly scored again in the second when he put a shot from the blue line off the iron.
McDavid generated the two-man advantage for his team with his fleet feet.
Edmonton’s league-best power play, with a record 32.4 per cent success rate this season, went 1-for-3 in the game.
The Kings, who ranked fourth with a man advantage, went 2-for-6.
Draisaitl scored Edmonton’s first goal of the post-season at 6:57. Mattias Janmark and Evander Kane worked the corner to gain possession of the puck. The puck deflected off Kings defenceman Matt Roy’s skate and out to Draisaitl to put a snapshot home.
The Oilers taking an early lead generated extracurricular pushing and shoving at the players’ benches during line changes.
Edmonton defenceman Darnell Nurse gave Doughty an open-ice shot to the chest late in the period.