Kings vs Oilers – Game Recap – May 2, 2022
EDMONTON, Alta. — Phillip Danault capitalized on an error by Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith and scored the game-winning goal late in the third period, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 win over the Oilers Monday night in Game 1 of the first-round playoffs.
Smith attempted to clear the puck from behind his net and instead put it on the stick of a Kings player in front. Smith made a diving save but couldn’t recover the puck. Seconds later, Danault scored at 14:46 of the third after a point shot from Sean Durzi.
“The playoffs are a long journey. There will be ups and downs,” Smith said. “It’s how you deal with it that makes you good or a team that looks from the sidelines.”
Smith stopped 31 of 35 shots he faced for Edmonton.
“I was just trying to shake things up,” Smith said. “Obviously I try to do too much there. In a tight game like this, you can’t afford to make such mistakes. It ended up costing us the game. Obviously disappointed, but it’s a game and we move on.
Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo each had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Brandon Lemieux also scored.
Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto each had a goal and an assist for Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl completed the scoring with a power play goal.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 35 saves.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Edmonton. The series moves to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday.
For Kings head coach Todd McLellan, the game is a good example of how his team has been playing lately, with good hitting, great goaltenders and players taking advantage of their chances.
“We played in our skin, we played for our identity, just a carbon copy of how we did,” McLellan said.
Edmonton is in the playoffs for the third straight season, but last year’s run was brief as the Winnipeg Jets ousted the Oilers in the first round with a four-game sweep.
The environment may have played a part in Edmonton’s 2-0 loss midway through the first period, McDavid said.
“There’s a lot of emotion with the fans in the building and I thought we just didn’t handle the situation well,” he said. “(The Kings) jumped on us.”
Moore opened the scoring 11 minutes into Monday’s game, ripping a shot from inside the circle over Smith’s outstretched glove.
He then set up Iafallo to give the Kings a 2-0 lead at 16:52 of the first. Positioned below the goal line, Moore sent Iafallo a pass in the back, and Iafallo wasted no time putting it in the Oilers net.
Edmonton cut the deficit before the end of the opening frame with another highlight-reel goal from McDavid.
The Oilers captain sprinted down the ice, fending off several Kings defenders, and fired a shot past Quick to make it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first.
Chants of “MVP!” MVP!” followed by the raucous crowd. McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy this season after posting a league-best 123 points.
The Oilers tied the game early in the second with a power-play goal after Iafallo was called for tripping.
Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot and Yamamoto tipped it over 2:39 into the period.
Lemieux sent a navigating shot from the top of the face-off circle after a 3:50 run into the second to restore the Kings’ lead.
Edmonton tied the game again midway through the period on another power-play goal after Iafallo was called for cross-checking.
McDavid sent a ricocheting pass off a broken stick into the slot before Draisaitl cleared the situation and sent a quick shot past Quick 9:56 into the second.
Edmonton went 2 for 4 with the man advantage. The Kings were 0 for 4.
Defenseman Darnell Nurse returned to the Oilers roster after missing four games with a knee injury. … The Kings were without Viktor Arvidsson, who left practice early Saturday. The winger has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games this season. … Monday marked the first playoff game between the Oilers and Kings since 1992, when Edmonton beat Los Angeles in a six-game divisional semifinal series.