Kings Start Slow Again, Drop Game 2 to Oilers
They didn’t allow the Kings a shot on goal for 18 minutes and only allowed three total in the period.
In a repeat of last seasons series, the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers have split the first two games in Edmonton.
The Oilers were clearly looking for a quick start after their disappointing Game one collapse and they delivered on that.
They didn't allow the Kings a shot on goal for 18 minutes and only allowed three total in the period.
Leon Draisaitl continued his dominance, getting an assist on the Oilers opener. After a nifty move on a backchecking Carl Grundstrom, Draisaitl put a shot on net that deflected off Alex Edler's skate and off the end boards.
The puck kicked out in front and Derek Ryan buried in tight just 2:34 in.
Rolling 11 forwards and seven defensemen, the Oilers consistently had Draisaitl out against the Kings' fourth line and Draisaitl feasted on that matchup.
The Oilers went to the power play just over halfway through the period and made no mistake.
After playing pitch and catch with Evan Bouchard, Connor McDavid thread a gorgeous pass to Draisaitl in his office and he buried his third goal in four periods.
The Kings finished the period with a few strong shifts, but were dominated overall.
The Kings can't make a habit of going down early, but they once again showed their resilience in the second period.
They struggled to establish their game plan early in the period but came on strong late.
After back-to-back penalties by the Oilers, the Kings grabbed some momentum which led to a Phil Danault goal 14 minutes in to cut the lead in half.
With just under a minute left, Gabe Vilardi tied the game in his first game back. Vilardi went wide and made a slick move to tuck the puck between the post and Stuart Skinner's pad.
Skinner has to be stronger on his post, but it was a silky play by Vilardi.
Just a few seconds later Rasmus Kupari found himself all alone and beat Skinner on the blocker side but rang the post.
The Kings went into the third period with all the momentum.
Almost immediately the Kings lost that momentum in the third.
Just over two minutes in, Klim Kostin put the Oilers up 3-2. It was a neutral zone turnover from the fourth line again as Draisaitl continued to dominate them.
Klostin was able to attack Sean Durzi with speed and his quick snapshot beat Joonas Korpisalo.
The Kings were unable to make a second comeback in the game and failed to seriously threaten Skinner much.
Evander Kane sealed the victory with an empty netter late after the Kings struggled to establish position with the extra skater.
Outside of a 10 minute period in the second, the Kings were largely dominated in Game two. It wasn't a great performance from them in either game, but they come back home with the series tied at one.
I think most fans would have taken that before the series started.
One big positive to take from this game was Vilardi's play. After a slow start, he grew into the game and looked like the teams best player in the second half of the game.
If he can get going, the Kings can expect reliable production from his line which can help flip the bottom six matchup.
The Kings are in a decent spot after the first two games, but need to improve at home if they hope to win this series.