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Oilers rout Kings in Game 2 to even series

While the Kings’ first playoff game since 2018 was fit to be saved for posterity, Game 2 might have been better suited for the incinerator.

Jonathan Quick allowed six goals and the Kings nose-dived against the Edmonton Oilers, whose 6-0 victory on Wednesday night in Edmonton knotted the best-of-seven first-round playoff series. The series shifts to Crypto.com Arena for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday nights.

Edmonton got a goal apiece from forward Leon Draisaitl, center Ryan McLeod, defenseman Darnell Nurse and winger Jesse Puljujarvi, as well as two from winger Evander Kane. Kane and McLeod also contributed an assist each, and center Connor McDavid’s two assists represented his fifth multipoint outing in six meetings with the Kings this season. Mike Smith rebounded from a game-deciding blunder in Game 1 to earn a shutout behind 30 saves.

Quick stopped 30 shots, but only twice this season did he surrender as many goals in a game as he did in this one.

Already in a three-goal hole entering the third period, the Kings greased up the sides by doubling their disadvantage before the final horn.

With 8:05 left, Kane whipped a wrist shot through defenseman Alex Edler’s legs that ascended to beat Quick above his left shoulder.

Just over three minutes into the closing period, Edmonton had cushioned its advantage with two goals in 21 seconds, first by a fluke and then with a flourish.

It was Kane pursuing a puck that was batted multiple times, lastly by Kings defenseman Sean Durzi and into his own net for an own goal that was credited to Kane. Then Puljujarvi finished an odd-man counterattack off a pass from McDavid.

Early in the second period, the Oilers proved opportunistic where the Kings had not been – on special teams. They scored on the power play just 82 seconds into the frame when defenseman Tyson Barrie dished to Draisaitl for a one-timer from the right faceoff dot. It was Draisaitl’s second goal of the postseason, both coming during second-period power plays.

After failing to score on a second power play, they extended their lead while shorthanded off the rush less than five minutes after their first goal. As Kane drove the middle, McDavid sent a cross-ice pass to Nurse, who scored off a wrist shot from nearly the same spot from which Draisaitl tallied earlier in the stanza. It was Nurse’s first postseason goal in 23 games.

Edmonton added an insurance marker with 3:55 left in the period when McLeod scored his first career playoff goal by setting up in the slot, facing defenseman Evan Bouchard and then tipping his shot past Quick to the far side.

In the first period, the Kings drew two penalties, but neither resulted in a power-play goal. First, it was McDavid boarding defenseman Mikey Anderson. McDavid, who received Lady Byng Trophy votes in four of his five full seasons, was ejected from a game earlier this season for boarding Kings winger Adrian Kempe. Later, a cross-check from Duncan Keith gave the Kings a second power play, which they nearly scored on when winger Alex Iafallo’s backhand shot struck the intersection between the post and crossbar. They finished the night 0 for 4 with the extra man, while ceding two man-advantage markers and a short-handed goal.

That was the second near-miss of the period, as earlier Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse cleared a puck laying just in front of the goal line away from harm as center Anze Kopitar loomed.

More to come on this story.

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