Oilers efficient in Game 5 win to close out Kings again in West 1st Round

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers made it look easy but insisted eliminating the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round in five games with a 4-3 win on Wednesday was anything but.

It was the third consecutive season Edmonton, the No. 2 seed from the Pacific Division, eliminated Los Angeles, the No. 3 seed from the Pacific, in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and each time it took fewer games: seven, six, five.

“I think we’re probably a better team this year than we were last year or the year before, we’re more mature, which plays a big part sometimes,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. “But that’s a really good team over there, they make it hard on you. It’s an absolute grind against them every night. Hats off to the way they compete and play the game. That being said, we did a really good job of getting our minds ready for that and mentally being ready for the challenge.”

Edmonton will play either the Vancouver Canucks or Nashville Predators in the second round. Vancouver leads that best-of-7 series 3-2. Game 6 is at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MAX, TNT, BSSO, SN, TVAS, CBC).

For the Oilers, this season’s playoff series against the Kings was decided by special teams. Edmonton scored on nearly half of its power-play opportunities (9-for-20, 45 percent) and Los Angeles was 0-for-12 on the man-advantage.

Officially, the Oilers scored one goal on the power play in Game 5, but for all intents and purposes, had three with the man-advantage.

Draisaitl’s goal at 7:44 of the second period was the only official one scored on power play. He scored again at 12:21 on set-up from Connor McDavid, four seconds after a holding penalty to Pierre-Luc Dubois expired and the Kings forward had yet to get back in the play.

Zach Hyman scored in similar fashion at 19:07, three seconds after a penalty to Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had expired.

McDavid was asked after the win which half of the special teams he thought was more impressive?

“I would say the penalty kill, not giving up a goal that’s real impressive,” the Oilers captain said. “The job that those guys did, killing big ones along the way. I think of the penalty kill in Game 4 in the third period (of a 1-0 win), that’s huge. I thought everybody on the kill was moving their feet and doing their job and sacrificing their bodies, which is not the most fun thing to do. The kill not giving up one is a great thing.”

Originally Appeared Here

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