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Kings Game Five Plus/Minus: Penalty Kill Struggles & Byfield’s First Goal

Here are some plus/minuses from Game Five.



For the first time in this series, the Los Angeles Kings looked outclassed against the Edmonton Oilers.

In Game Five's 6-3 defeat, the Kings were dominated throughout and gave away the series lead far too easily.

There was a lot of bad and not much good on Tuesday.

Here are some plus/minuses from Game Five.

– The Penalty Kill:

This has been a minus in every single game of the series. The Kings' penalty kill is currently dead last in the playoffs at an abysmal 42.8%.

It's almost impossible to win a series when the opposition is scoring on over half of their power plays.

And yes, this is the most prolific power play in NHL history. But 42% is still unacceptable. 

Nothing is going right for the Kings' penalty kill right now and they look completely devoid of confidence. They almost looked scared of Edmonton's power play.

They're too passive and too concerned with defending the cross-ice pass. 

They're allowing players to either walk in and shoot from the circles. And allowing an absolute shooting gallery from the point, with Evan Bouchard, in particular, getting free rein to unload from the point.

And on Tuesday it wasn't even the usual suspects that punished the Kings. You can almost forgive them for getting killed by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. But those two registered just one secondary assist between them on the power play Tuesday.

Special teams killed the Kings in this series last season and are doing so again this year.

+ Quinton Byfield's First Playoff Goal

No, Quinton Byfield didn't have a good game overall. 

He was taken off the first line after failing to tie up Leon Draisaitl's stick for the Oilers' second goal of the game. And saw his minutes further reduced after allowing Brett Kulak to creep behind him and bury the Oilers' third goal.

But, he was able to redeem himself a bit in the third, tallying his first career playoff goal off a nice feed from Gabriel Vilardi.

Being down 3-2 after being dominated in Game Five isn't the best time for morale victories. 

But seeing Byfield get his first non-empty net goal in 37 games, and the first postseason goal of his career is a big positive. 

He's had some ups and downs during the season but has improved his overall game a lot. The glaring hole has been his complete inability to find the back of the net.

So, seeing him finally bury on a grade-A scoring chance deserves some recognition. 

That needs to happen far more frequently if Byfield hopes to take his game to the next level. But the flashes are becoming more frequent, which should excite Kings fans.

– Joonas Korpisalo

You have to feel for Joonas Korpisalo, who's been excellent all series for the Kings and has kept them in several games. 

His play on Tuesday wasn't catastrophic but wasn't good either. 

None of the goals stand out as terrible and he even made a few nice saves in the first. But 4 goals on 19 shots and -1.47 goals saved above expected isn't good enough.

After allowing five goals in Game Four, there was some concern that Edmonton put a dent in Korpisalo's armor and it appears they have.

If I'm Todd McLellan, I go back to Korpisalo for Game Six no question. 

Pheonix Copley didn't exactly inspire any confidence during his cameo in Game Five and Korpisalo has been stellar up to this point. 

Your ride or die with Korpisalo in Game Six and hope he gets his mojo back.

+ Adrian Kempe Continues to Shine

A theme for Adrian Kempe this season has been exceeding expectations. 

Most people expected him to regress after his 35-goal campaign last season and instead, he improved upon it scoring 41 times. 

And he's found a way to elevate again in these playoffs. 

He's leading the Kings with four goals and tied for the team lead with seven points. 

It's more than just the points too, Kempe's played a complete game. He's physical, he's playing with an edge and has been responsible in his own end.

In a series with two of the best players in the world, Kempe's managed to shine.

Kempe proved this season that he is a premier goal scorer in this league. And in this series is proving that he is a premier player outright. 

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