Daily News Kings eliminated by Oilers again, this time in 5 games

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EDMONTON, Alberta — When you allow the Edmonton Oilers to nearly set a franchise record with nine power-play goals in a playoff series, your chances of winning are pretty slim, and the Kings found out the hard way.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice, while Evander Kane and Zach Hyman also tallied their second and seventh goals of the series as Edmonton knocked the Kings out of the playoffs for a third straight year with a 4-3 win in Game 5 of their first-round series on Wednesday night at Rogers Place.

Evan Bouchard added three assists, and Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two each. McDavid extended his points total to a playoff-leading 12 (one goal, 11 assists).

Alex Laferriere, Blake Lizotte, and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings as they held a 2-1 lead in the second period, only to see it evaporate by the end of the second after they couldn’t stay out of the penalty box.

Special teams were the story of the series as Edmonton’s power play was red-hot going 9 for 20 in the series, while the Kings finished 0 for 12 with the man advantage.

In fact, the Kings can look at the Oilers’ power play as a big reason for them being ousted three straight years as the Edmonton power play has gone 25 for 55 (45.5%) in the three series.

David Rittich made 19 saves in the loss for the Kings, while Stuart Skinner made 16 saves as the Oilers advanced to face the winner of the Vancouver-Nashville series in the next round.

With their playoff lives at stake, the Kings came out strong, getting some good pressure on Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner early on. They held the Oilers to just one shot through the opening six minutes, but it was Edmonton who would strike first as Kane’s backhand handcuffed Rittich to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at the 10:17 mark of the opening frame.

Despite being down, the Kings looked to be the better team in the first period, and their hard work was rewarded with an ugly goal – but after being shutout in Game 4, the Kings needed a lucky bounce.

Vladislav Gavrikov’s dump in took a funny hop off the glass, and while Skinner went behind his net to corral the puck it flew into the slot and right onto the stick of Laferriere, who made no mistake beating a diving Skinner to tie the score at 1-1.

Lizotte gave the Kings a 2-1 lead just 3:08 into the second period when he took a great pass from Viktor Arvidsson and walked down the right wing and snapped a shot over the glove of Skinner – but then all kinds of trouble started to unravel for the Kings.

After killing off the Oilers’ first power play in the opening minutes of the second period, they couldn’t stay out of the box, taking four more penalties in the period.

Draisaitl’s fourth goal of the series, a one-timer from inside the hashmarks at the 7:44 mark of the period, tied the score at 2-2, and while the Oilers didn’t strike on two other power-play opportunities in the period, they cashed in just four seconds and three seconds after the penalties were served.

With big off-season acquisition Pierre Luc Dubois in the box for holding, the Kings did a good job of keeping the Oilers to the outside, but Draisaitl’s blast from virtually the same spot as his first goal of the game, just crossed the line as Rittich dove across and made a glove save.

It was initially called a no-goal, but after further review, the officials determined the puck fully crossed the line.

On the Oilers’ fourth goal, the Kings’ PK kept the Oilers around the perimeter, but a blast from Bouchard squeaked through the pads, and Hyman was left alone at the side of the net to tap home his seventh of the series to give the Oilers a two-goal cushion heading into the final frame.

In past seasons, the Oilers struggled to lock down games with the lead, but they showed they could do it in their 1-0 win in Game 4, and in the third period of Game 5, they didn’t give the Kings any chances, limiting the Kings to just two shots through the first 12 minutes of the third period.

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Fiala had the Kings first scoring chance with a shot from the slot after a strong cycle, but Skinner was able to make a pad save.

Then with just over four minutes left, the Kings swarmed the crease after a point from was deflected, but Skinner stood his ground.

The Kings pulled Rittch with just under three minutes remaining and they were able to make it a one-goal game as Kempe re-directed a point shot from Matt Roy with 2:18 left to make it a 4-3 game.

The Kings continued to press for the tying goal in the final minute, but Draisaitl drew a penalty with 19.7 seconds left as he broke the zone and forced Danault to haul him down and take a penalty.

More to come on this story.

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