The Los Angeles Kings were in town for a showdown with Edmonton Oilers this evening (and for tentative grasp on second place in the Pacific division). Looking for their eighth straight home win, Edmonton was coming off a big win against the Arizona Coyotes, whilst LA was coming off a loss to the Seattle Kraken and were missing eight regulars in their lineup.
The Oilers rolled out the same lineup as Monday:
Kane - McDavid - Puljujarvi
Hyman - Draisaitl - Yamamoto
Brassard - Nugent-Hopkins - Archibald
Foegele - McLeod - Ryan
Nurse - Ceci
Keith - Bouchard
Kulak - Barrie
Of special note, Ben Stelter was in the stands for this game.
Less than three minutes in, Kaliyev tips home an Alex Edler shot for a 1-0 Kings lead early in the game. Archibald made a few big hits on this shift, but unfortunately was out of position on the Edler point shot.
After the early goal against, the Oilers picked up the pressure against the Kings and it paid off. A hard forecheck by Kane and Puljuljarvi and a pass out front by McDavid lead to a bar-down goal from Cody Ceci. Top line delivers again and its 1-1. Connor’s 99th point of the season.
Buzzing through the neutral zone, McDavid tries to swim by Durzi but unfortunately catches him with a high stick. The powerplay yielded no results for LA, thanks to an excellent save from Mikko Koskinen, but Darnell Nurse blocked a shot off of his head/ear area (though stayed in the game though).
darnell nurse takes a one-timer off the side of the head and pops right up afterwards. ouch. pic.twitter.com/6xq5OAOXGK— zach laing (@zjlaing) March 31, 2022
Late in the period, officials missed a call on Alex Edler who was hanging onto Jesse Puljuljarvi’s stick. Another unfortunate night for the officials. However, the continud pressure resulted in goal number 49 for Leon Draisaitl after an incredible effort from Zach Hyman, who snuck a pass through the crease while falling. 2-1 Edmonton.
Leon buries number 49. Does he beat Matthews to 50 tonight? pic.twitter.com/4v4KtXZlx8— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) March 31, 2022
Connor McDavid, off an own goal from Alex Iafallo, collects his 37th goal and 100th point of the year early in the second. 3-1 Oilers.
Fewest games to reach 100 points since 2010-11— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 31, 2022
Connor McDavid 2020-21 53
Nikita Kucherov 2018-19 62
Leon Draisaitl 2019-20 65
Connor McDavid 2018-19 66
Connor McDavid 2021-22 67
A few seconds later, Byfield pounces on a loose puck in the slot, and fires it by Koskinen to make it a one goal game once again. And 14 seconds later, the LA Kings tie it suddenly. Two bad turnovers around their own net, and two quick goals.
However, McDavid has other ideas and he puts the team on his back (or Kopitar, moreso) and circles the net and sneaks it by Quick. MacLellan challenges for goalie interference, and JP is called after pushing Bjornfoot into Quick and it’s called back. The Oilers used that momentum and nearly scored a few more, but the score remains tied at 3.
Connor McDavid cannot seem to buy a penalty call against in this game, despite being nearly tackled on multiple occasions. Brett Kulak is the one to draw it on Kupari, though this was a clear makeup call. The Oilers were barely able to enter the zone though, and this PP went by without inflicting any sort of damage.
Nineteen seconds in, Evander Kane is called (very late, I’ll add) for cross-checking. Oilers back to the PK, but are able to kill it off. Conversely, the officials miss a huge interference call after Foegele is levelled on a (very) high hit while chasing the puck in open ice – should have been a textbook call.
Halfway through the period, the Oilers outshot 11-0 and are on their heels, seemingly losing composure on some of the plays they thought should have been penalties. In what appears to be another makeup call, Kopitar called for hooking. A second chance for this anemic Oilers powerplay, which only lasts 27 seconds after Hyman’s stick hits Edler (Alex Edler whacked Hyman’s stick up into his own face).
zach hyman got called for high-sticking on this play. brutal. pic.twitter.com/vX5WKvQu0e— zach laing (@zjlaing) March 31, 2022
Officials do know they were the hot topic at GM meetings, right?
With a tie at the end of regulation, LA holds second place in the division. These two teams, which seem destined for a first round playoff matchup, are off to overtime. Edmonton simply dominated the extra period, but Quick held strong and there were a few odd moments where the Oilers chose to pass up a shooting opportunity. Shootout time.
EDM: Leon Draisaitl - Goal
LAK: Arvidsson - Miss
EDM: McDavid - Goal
LAK: Kopitar - Miss
The Oilers win and are one point back with a game in hand of these same LA Kings for second place in the division.
Also, would just like to remind Ken Holland of his AHL team...
Three points for Holloway, shutout for Stuart Skinner tonight in Bakersfield.— Lowetide (@Lowetide) March 31, 2022