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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 27, 2024 7:45 pm

Kings back in a familiar playoff position, trailing Oilers 2-1

Oilers, Kings

The Los Angeles Kings were in this situation not long ago against the visiting Edmonton Oilers and they’ll try to bounce back again when they meet in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series on Sunday night.

The Kings trail the best-of-seven series 2-1 against the Oilers after getting lit up 6-1 in Game 3 on Friday night in Los Angeles.

They were in the same boat two years ago after three games of their first-round series against the Oilers, losing 8-2 in Game 3 before storming back for a 4-0 victory in Game 4 to even the series and retake home-ice advantage.

Los Angeles even won Game 5 in Edmonton to take a 3-2 series lead, but ultimately dropped the final two games and the series.

The Kings led their opening-round series against Edmonton after three games last season, but eventually lost that one too.

“What I know for sure is it’s two for them, one for us, and you need to win four in the series,” Kings interim coach Jim Hiller said. “We’ll have to play better than we did (in Game 3), just like Game 2.”

Los Angeles bounced back from a 7-4 loss in Game 1 on April 22 to win 5-4 in overtime in Game 2 on Wednesday to even the series heading to Los Angeles.

Instead of capitalizing on home-ice advantage, the Kings gave up three straight goals in the first period and were chasing the Oilers the rest of the way.

“We wanted this one, they wanted it, so you just have to take a look at it as if it’s one game,” Kings forward Kevin Fiala said. “Now, we just have to come back next game and make it 2-2.”

The Oilers kept the celebration low-key afterward, knowing they’re just one loss away from losing home-ice advantage again.

“It just counts as one win, that’s all,” Edmonton center Connor McDavid said. “Got to be ready for a big one Sunday.”

After scoring six points (three goals, three assists) in his final four games of the regular season, McDavid has maintained his hot streak in the playoffs, totaling nine points (one goal, eight assists) through the first three games.

He hasn’t been the only one carrying the offense, however.

Leon Draisaitl (three goals, four assists) and Zach Hyman (six goals, one assist) each have seven points in the series.

Hyman and Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights are the only NHL players to score at least six goals in the first three games of the postseason in the past 30 years.

“He’s always willing to go there and pay a price, and he’s done that so far this playoffs,” McDavid said of Hyman.

Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch also moved Evander Kane up to the second line with Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Game 3 and Kane had a goal and an assist while Nugent-Hopkins had three assists.

It’s a line he’ll likely keep together for Game 4.

“We’ve all played with everybody throughout the course of the year, and sometimes things get changed up,” Kane said. “It’s a nice opportunity to play with two really good playmakers, and I thought we generated some great opportunities.”

Edmonton is also dominating the special teams, going 7-for-14 on the power play while holding the Kings to 0-for-10 with the man-advantage.

“We have to think positive,” Fiala said. “Obviously, we have to look at some things we have to get better, and we will, so we have to get the second game (at home).”

–Field Level Media

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