Stanley Cup Playoffs

LA Kings Season Ends at Hands of Oilers Again After 5-4 Loss in Game 6

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored as the Oilers advanced to the second round on Saturday night, defeating the Kings 5-4 to capture the series in six games.

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

It's déjà vu all over again for the Los Angeles Kings.

For the second straight year, the Edmonton Oilers have ended the Kings season in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored as the Oilers advanced to the second round on Saturday night, defeating the Kings 5-4 to capture the series in six games.

Last season, a younger Kings team without veteran defenseman Drew Doughty, led the series 3-2 before dropping the final two games of the series.

This season, the Kings were expected to take another step forward in their maturation. Longtime captain Dustin Brown retired in the offseason, former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick was traded away, and Viktor Arvidsson and Doughty were healthy for the postseason.

For a chunk of the regular season, the Kings held the best record in the Pacific Division. But L.A. spun their wheels down the stretch, and fell into third, guaranteeing them another date with the Oilers in the first round.

Even though the Kings were improved this season, so were the Oilers. Two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner Connor McDavis is expected to win his third this season, and Draisaitl also could finish as a finalist for the trophy after winning the award in 2020-21.

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The Oilers won 50 games this season for the first time since 1986, and finished with the best goal differential in the Pacific Division. Because Edmonton reached the Western Conference Finals last season, they were expected to at least get back there again this year, and possibly the Stanley Cup Final.

So it was no surprise when analysts and prognosticators selected the Oilers to easily dispatch of the Kings in this series.

However, the Kings had other plans.

L.A. shocked the Oilers in Game 1 in Edmonton. The Kings rallied from two different two-goal deficits, tying the game with 17 seconds remaining in regulation on Anze Kopitar's goal. They would eventually go on to win in overtime.

The Kings struck again in Game 3 at home, and held a 3-0 lead after one period in Game 4, before a 2nd period collapse tied the game at 3-3. Edmonton would eventually win that game in overtime to even the series.

Last year, the Kings defeated the Oilers in Game 5 at Rogers Place, but this time Edmonton held serve at home and ended the series on the road.

McDavid gave the Oilers the early lead in Game 6 just 1:25 into the first period.

Kings' defenseman Sean Durzi tied it up seven minutes later.

But the back-and-forth battle was just beginning as Klim Kostin scored his first of two goals on the night at the end of the first period to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.

Draisaitl opened the scoring for the Oilers in the second period to give Edmonton a 3-1 lead. It was Draisaitl's seventh goal of the series.

With their backs to the wall, the Kings would rally again, just as they had done all series long. Adrian Kempe and Kevin Fiala scored back-to-back goals in less than three minutes to tie the game at 3-3.

All series long, every time either team would appear to have taken control of the momentum, the other team would respond. With the Kings seemingly taking back the momentum in the second period, Kostin silenced it to put the Oilers ahead 4-3 heading into the third period.

With less than 8:00 remaining in the game, Phillip Danault scored a shorthanded goal after a broken stick nightmare on a clear out by Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner.

Just as it appeared we were headed for an astonishing fourth overtime game of the series, Kailer Yamamoto delivered the game-winner to put the Oilers ahead for good and send the Kings packing for the offseason.

The Oilers will now play the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the second round starting on Monday.

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