it’s a new era for kingsbut on Friday they returned to their triumphant past to play “Welcome to the Black Parade”, the song that became their anthem during their Stanley Cup Championship races 2012 and 2014.
The familiar song and updated video fueled fans’ emotions to madness, but the Edmonton Oilers they soon deflated their hopes of replicating those playoff successes by staging a dazzling display of skill and precise passing.
Evander Kane recorded a hat-trick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman scored two goals each, and NHL scoring champion Connor McDavid contributed two ingenious assists as the Oilers earned a lead. Win 8-2 at the Crypto.com Arena and took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
King’s coach Todd McLellan he was angry and succinct at his post-game press conference.
“We can do it very quickly tonight. I can [summarize] it’s all up to you, we can all go home, “he said.” We weren’t okay. We’re really disappointed, we got caught up in their game.
“You could ask me about people, I’ll answer the same for all of them: they weren’t good. And we have to regroup [Saturday]. “
They have no choice but to regroup, especially in defense. They have been beaten 14-2 in their last two games, a dramatic departure from the identity they have built this season. They knew they would have to work hard to match McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the Oilers are getting goals from secondary sources and the Kings have not been able to stop them.
“I think tonight is a big slap in the face and we need to regroup,” the center said Philip Danault, which put an end to the futility of the Kings power-play at 17:29 of the second period by cutting the Oilers lead at 5-2. “Fortunately it’s only 2-1 in the series, so we need to regroup and step up the next game.”
He also said the Kings must see him as the Oilers holding a one-game advantage in the series and not that Edmonton is scoring almost at will. “We have to see it as 2-1. We don’t want to look at all the goals, ”Danault said.
That won’t make those goals go away, though. The Kings defense, small and inexperienced without the injured leader Drew Doughty, is overrun. The forwards are committing too many turnovers, the result of the inexperience and pressure of the hockey playoffs. The answers are in their locker rooms, at least until this summer, when they will be able to dive into the trading and free agent markets to make updates on offense and defense.
McLellan also said striker Carl Grundstrom missed the game due to injury; he said early Friday that Viktor Arvidsson is left out due to a lower body injury. For now, the Kings’ only option is to rediscover the pride and identity that brought them to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2018. It’s a tough task.
“You can’t lose confidence this time of year,” said defender Alex Edler. “We know what kind of team we are. We haven’t shown it in the last two games. “
The Oilers struck twice in the first period. Draisaitl converted a McDavid pass at 3:50, as the teams were skating four on four, and Hyman redirected a perfect McDavid pass while stationed at the far post during a power play, at 6:07. This improved the Oilers’ power-play performance in the five-out-of-nine series.
The Oilers benched Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick in favor of Cal Petersen at 7:42 in the second period, after Kane scored on the second try and an uncontrolled Hyman scored from the slot for the Oilers’ fourth goal of 17 throws. Kane scored again, on a rebound, before Anze Kopitar spared the Kings the embarrassment of a second consecutive close by hitting the puck under the crossbar and passing Mike Smith at 10:07.
The Kings scored a goal in power-play – the first of 11 occasions in the series – at 5:29 pm of the second period, when Danault turned the rebound of a shot from Kempe. This revived the fans and reduced the Kings’ lead to 5-2, but Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Kane completed his hat-trick in the final six minutes of the period.
“We just have to look to the next,” Edler said. “We didn’t play well enough tonight, we didn’t play well enough in the last game.”
The craziness of the Oilers’ goals added a ludicrous dimension to the criticisms leveled on Friday morning by reporters who reported to the team that the Crypto.com Arena lights weren’t on and the nets weren’t in place at 11:20 am to 11 am. program for the team: 30 starting times.
The video showed patches of water still on the ice after it was flooded and the maintenance team was waiting for the ice to dry before moving the nets to prevent the metal frame from causing gouges in the ice. The scents of play abounded.
“It must have been a slow day when it comes to news in Edmonton,” said Lee Zeidman, president of Crypto.com Arena, Microsoft Arena and LA Live. He said the crew were following standard procedure for an 11:30 am skate, but said the ice will be ready by 11:10 am for the Oilers next day’s skate.
Not that the Oilers need practice. The kings, however, need a miracle or something similar.