Oilers push Kings to brink of elimination with decisive Game 5 win in Edmonton
Nick Bjugstad scored a pair of goals for the Oilers in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings as Edmonton took a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.
The Oilers are a win away from advancing to the second round. Game 6 is Saturday in Los Angeles. A Game 7, if necessary, would be Monday in Edmonton.
Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane, Zach Hyman and Brett Kulak also scored for Edmonton.
Stuart Skinner returned to Edmonton’s net after he was swapped out for Jack Campbell a period into Edmonton’s Game 4 overtime win Sunday.
The 24-year-old Edmontonian made 25 saves for the win.
WATCH | Bjugstad scores pair to help Oilers take series lead:
His Los Angeles counterpart Joonas Korpisalo was pulled for Phoenix Copley in Tuesday’s second period after Edmonton’s fourth goal.
Korpisalo, who has faced more rubber than any other goalie this post-season, stopped 15 of 19 shots before giving way to Copley and his six saves.
Quinton Byfield, Adrian Kempe and Alex Iafallo scored for the Kings.
When the two clubs clashed in the first round last year, the Kings claimed Game 5 to take the series lead to Los Angeles, where the Oilers won back-to-back.
Edmonton now has the chance in this series to close it out on the road.
Bjugstad scored his second of the game at 4:26 of the third period.
His floating backhand toward the net went off the skate of Kings defenceman Mikey Anderson and across the goal line.
Byfield scored the Kings’ third goal at 6:33 shooting upstairs on Skinner from the Edmonton goalie’s doorstep.
Game 4 overtime hero Hyman scored Edmonton’s fifth goal with his face.
The puck flying end over end on an Evan Bouchard slapshot deflected off Hyman’s cheek and under Copley at 15:47 of the second period, when just 10 seconds remained in Kevin Fiala’s tripping penalty.
Hyman shook off the discomfort and continued to play.
Now that’s using your head pic.twitter.com/89kEwiQ4aM
But a turning point for Edmonton was sustained offensive pressure midway through the second period. Unit after unit cycled the puck and worked hard to keep it onside.
Their reward for that effort was Bjugstad tipping in Cody Ceci’s shot from the blue line at 11:49 for a 4-2 lead.
As they did in the first two games of this series at Rogers Place, the Oilers took an early 2-0 lead. But Edmonton led 3-2 after the opening period.
Kempe chipped the puck over Skinner at 17:35 to draw the visitors within a goal.
Ryan McLeod in the corner whipped the puck cross-ice in front of Korpisalo for Kulak to sneak by Byfield and beat Korpisalo at 14:12.
A minute earlier, Iafallo scored L.A.’s second of the game chopping a rebound off a Kempe spinaround attempt past Skinner.
McDavid sets up Draisaitl
Draisaitl made it 2-0 for the hosts at 10:40 on McDavid’s feed from behind the goal line.
Draisaitl was going down as he was shoved by Byfield, but got a shot away to beat Korpisalo for his NHL-leading sixth playoff goal.
With Carl Grundstrom in the box for hooking McDavid, Kane strode to the faceoff circle and put a shot off the far post and into the net at 8:08 with just four seconds left in the penalty.
The Kings were minus forward Blake Lizotte (lower-body) for a third straight game. Edmonton was without forward Mattias Janmark a fourth game after he blocked a shot with his foot in Game 1.