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Oilers edge Kings 4-2 to draw even in first-round playoff series


Klim Kostin scored the third-period game-winner for the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday to even their first-round playoff series at a win apiece.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists for Edmonton, which dropped the series opener 4-3 in overtime. Derek Ryan and Evander Kane with the empty-netter also scored for the Oilers.

Oilers captain and NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid had an assist for his first point of these playoffs. He was held off the scoresheet in Monday's Game 1.

Stuart Skinner had 23 saves for his first NHL career playoff win. Kings counterpart Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots in the loss.

Gabriel Vilardi and Philip Danault were the Kings' goal scorers.

Vilardi returned to the Kings' lineup after sitting out the last nine games of the regular season and first game of the series with a lower-body injury.

Game 3 is Friday and Game 4 is Sunday at Arena in Los Angeles, where the Kings went 26-11-4 in the regular season.

The Oilers were minus winger Mattias Janmark, who blocked a hard shot with his foot in Game 1.

Defenceman Philip Broberg drew into the lineup as the Oilers went with 11 forwards and seven defencemen.

Edmonton let Los Angeles back into the game after building a two-goal lead for a second straight playoff game, but the Oilers closed it out Wednesday.

Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Kings drew even with goals at 14:38 and 19:16 of the second.

Kostin produced the go-ahead goal at 2:20 of the third. Draisaitl's neutral-zone check on Arthur Kaliyev along the boards forced a turnover for Kostin to skate the puck into the zone and wire a shot far side on Korpisalo.

Edmonton's momentum after killing off a Los Angeles two-man advantage late in the period was snuffed out by Vilardi late in the second period.

Vilardi skated down the wing to behind the goal-line where he put the puck off the back of Skinner's skate and into the net with less than a minute remaining.

Danault halved the deficit by cutting in front of the net and lifting his own rebound over Skinner's pad on the backhand.

Edmonton replicated the first period of Game 1 by scoring the second of two goals on a power play for a 2-0 lead.

Los Angeles didn't register a shot on net until 17:58 of the opening period, in which the Kings were outshot 11-3.

While Alex Iafallo served a tripping penalty, Draisaitl anticipated McDavid's cross-ice feed through traffic.

The centre dropped to one knee to snap the puck upstairs on Korpisalo at 12:06 for Draisaitl's third goal in two playoff games.

Draisaitl's blast off the back wall came out beside the net for Ryan to chip the puck under Korpisalo's left pad at 6:57.

Notes: Anze Kopitar ranks second all-time in Kings playoff assists (51) behind Wayne Gretzky (65) and Draisaitl's two goals in Game 1 made him the third-fastest player in the NHL to reach 60 career playoff points in 38 games, behind Wayne Gretzky in 26 games and Mario Lemieux in 34.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2023. Top Stories

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