Kings Game 1 Plus/Minuses: Kings Stars Shine & Korpisalo Stands Tall
Here are some pluses and minuses from Monday’s victory.
In a wildly entertaining Game one, the Los Angeles Kings completed a comeback, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in overtime.
The Oilers looked like they had the game wrapped up after 20 minutes. With the Kings unable to match Edmonton's physicality and speed in the first period.
But as the game went on, the Kings found their game.
Here are some pluses and minuses from Monday's victory.
+ Adrian Kempe & Anze Kopitar
You need your best players to perform in the postseason and both Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar did exactly that.
Kempe showed this year that he's an elite goal scorer and on Monday, might have proved he's an elite player outright.
He was one of the few players who looked ready from the start. He was physically engaged all night and matched the Oilers intensity from the opening puck drop.
And then, of course, the goals came.
He got the Kings on the board with an aggressive center lane drive and a nice backhand to beat Stuart Skinner for his first of the night.
His second was the kind of goal only elite shooters score. Credit to Quinton Byfield who made a nice play to get Kempe the puck. And once he got it, he made no mistake.
He quickly shifted the puck over to his forehand and cleanly beat Skinner over the shoulder with an absolute rocket.
So often Kempe and Kopitar's success seems to coincide and that was no different on Monday.
Kopitar finished with a team leading four points, with three of those coming as secondary assists.
Played just under 23 minutes and won 17 of 33 faceoffs.
He also scored the game tying goal with just 16 seconds remaining.
It was the kind of performance you want to see from your captain as he led the way with his usual stellar 200-foot play all night.
– Leon Draisaitl
If you're an Oilers fan, the play of Leon Draisaitl was a massive plus.
He was dominant all night and will terrorize the Kings in this series if they can't slow him down.
He opened the scoring with a rocket past Joonas Korpisalo. And added a second early in the third to re-establish Edmonton's two-goal lead.
And perhaps as impressive, he was a dominant 63.3% in the dot.
He also brought a physical element in Game one and at times, the Kings couldn't deal with him.
It ended in a losing effort, but the Draisaitl can hold his head high after that performance. And should go into Game two with a lot of confidence.
+ Joonas Korpisalo
Korpisalo is making a case for himself to be the best deadline acquisition in hockey this season with performances like that.
He finished with 37 saves and 1.09 goals saved above expected.
I think it would be overexaggerating a little to say he stole Game one for the Kings, but he wasn't far from it. He was stellar.
He made big saves in big moments and was key in keeping Connor McDavid off the scoresheet
Before the series, I said the battle between Korpisalo and Skinner would be key and Korpisalo won the battle in Game one.
He's historically stepped up in the postseason and did so again on Monday. If he can keep this momentum rolling and find a groove in net. The Kings should be very confident in this series.