Kings erase 2-goal deficit in third, topple Oilers in OT

Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Iafallo scored the overtime winner as the visiting Los Angeles Kings erased a two-goal deficit in the third-period en route to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in the opening game of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Anze Kopitar scored once in a four-point outing and Adrian Kempe tallied two goals for the Kings, who were without a pair of key forwards in Kevin Fiala and Gabriel Vilardi due to injuries. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 37 saves and Viktor Arvidsson collected two assists.

Leon Draisaitl scored twice, and Evan Bouchard found the back of the net once for the Oilers. Goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots. Captain Connor McDavid, who led the NHL with 64 goals and 153 points in the regular season, was held off the scoresheet.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Wednesday in Edmonton.

While Edmonton’s Vincent Desharnais was in the penalty box for a tripping infraction, Iafallo finished a three-way passing play for the winner at 9:19 of the extra period.

The Oilers appeared to have the game in hand midway through the third period but were left stunned.

With the Kings trailing 3-1, Kempe’s second goal of the night made it a one-goal deficit with 8:37 remaining in regulation.

Then Kopitar forced overtime when he pounced on a loose puck for a power-play goal with 16.7 seconds left on the clock. The Kings had the net empty to give them a six-on-four advantage.

Until then, Edmonton was poised to win.

Draisaitl opened the scoring 6:57 into the affair thanks to a lucky bounce, and Bouchard’s five-on-three power-play goal doubled the lead at the 12:31 mark of the opening frame.

Kempe kicked off a wild third period when he put the Kings on the board 52 seconds into the frame by lifting a perfect backhand over Skinner’s shoulder.

It appeared Draisaitl’s second goal, at 8:46 of the final frame, would seal the game, but the Kings clawed back. Draisaitl now has 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) in 38 career playoff games.

–Field Level Media

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