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Kings on brink of elimination after tough loss to Oilers in Game 5

April 26, 2023, 5:00 PM ET [5 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings' season is now on the line, following a 6-3 loss to Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 last night.

Edmonton generated some great chances early to get Joonas Korpisalo moving in the first period, but he was able to hold them off for much of the first half of the frame. However, eight minutes into the game, Edmonton once again made the Kings pay on a power play. With only seconds remaining on the man advantage, Evander Kane wired a shot past Korpisalo to put the Oilers ahead. Then only minutes later, Connor McDavid found Leon Draisaitl in front, extending the lead to leave Los Angeles in a hole.

However, the Kings quickly got one back, with Alex Iafallo burying a rebound in-close soon after to make it a 2-1 game. The back and forth continued though, and only a minute after Iafallo’s goal, Ryan McLeod found Brett Kulak with a great pass and he beat Korpsialo, reinstating the two-goal lead.

With only a little over two minutes left in the frame though (and after the Oilers hit a post), Adrian Kempe made a nice move to go bar-down in front, cutting the lead to 3-2 though 20 minutes.

Things may have slowed down a bit in the second frame but midway through the period, Nick Bjugstad tipped in a point shot to put Edmonton back up by two. That marked the end of Korpisalo’s night, as Pheonix Copley made his series debut in relief. It didn’t help, with the Oilers once again able capitalize on the power play, with Evan Bouchard’s shot going off Zach Hyman’s face and in to make it a 5-2 game.

Things didn’t get much better in the third period, As Pheonix Copley just whiffed on catching a puck and it went off his glove and into traffic, before finding its way in. While Quinton Byfield did get one back, the Kings didn't get close, falling 6-3.

That was a tough one for the Kings. They seemed overwhelmed early and that continued through the first 40 minutes.

Despite giving up six goals, the score could’ve been worse if it hadn’t been for some big early saves from Korpisalo. He may have been pulled, but the loss was from his fault. In fact after seeing the second goal Copley allowed, I don’t think there’s any debate as to how much the Kings need Korpisalo in this series.

As expected, Los Angeles continued to be torched by the Oilers’ power play, which went 2-for-3 for the second game in a row. For anyone tracking, Edmonton has now gone 8-for-14 in the series, operating close to 60 per cent.

Even though they actually did end up outshooting Edmonton, this was the worst game the Kings have played this series. We’re always going to see the Oilers generating high-danger chances based on their personnel, but through a lot of the series, the Kings have been able to offset that with chances of their own. Last night though, that just wasn’t the case.

The blown lead in Game 4 is really coming back to hurt the Kings, who will now be fighting for their lives at home in Game 6. But at their best, Los Angeles can certainly match up well against the Oilers, and the series is still far from over.

They'll now have a bit of a break, and hopefully they'll be ready to go for Game 6 on Saturday night.

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