GAME 2 FINAL – Kings 0, Oilers 6 – Kopitar, Roy, McLellan

The LA Kings dropped their first game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 6-0 defeat in Game 2 against Edmonton. With the loss, the series shifts back to Los Angeles even at one game apiece.

After a 0-0 first period, Edmonton opened the scoring with a pair of goals on special teams to take a two-goal lead during the middle stanza.

First, on the man advantage, forward Leon Draisaitl one-timed a feed from Tyson Barrie past Quick from the right-hand circle and in, his second power-play goal in as many games, to put the hosts on the board. The Oilers made it 2-0 less than five minutes later, this time with a shorthanded goal. Off the rush, forward Connor McDavid fed defenseman Darnell Nurse in space, with the Edmonton blueliner firing off of Arthur Kaliyev’s stick and in for his first goal of the series.

Edmonton added an even-strength goal with just under four minutes to play in the second period to take a three-goal lead into the second intermission. After the Kings were unable to clear their defensive zone, defenseman Evan Bouchard’s shot from the point was deflected on the way through by forward Ryan McLeod and in, McLeod’s first career postseason goal.

The Oilers extended their advantage early in the third period with two goals in a span of 21 seconds to take a 5-0 lead. First, Evander Kane scored his first goal of the series, as he juggled the puck off the rush, with a deflection off of a Kings stick from the slot sending it past Quick for the fourth Oilers goal of the night. The hosts made it 5-0 shortly thereafter, as McDavid fed forward Jesse Puljujarvi in a 2-on-1 situation, with the latter slotting home on the glove side for his first of the series.

Kane added his second of the game on the power play, midway through the third period, to push the score to 6-0, where it went final.

Hear from Anze Kopitar, Matt Roy and Todd McLellan after tonight’s game.

Anze Kopitar

Matt Roy

On the struggles on special teams tonight in Game 2
Yeah, they’ve got a good power play and they were cashing in on it tonight. We took a penalty right off the hop in the second and they got a goal there. It’s tough to come back from that. Any game you play in, giving up a shortie is tough. We’ve got to look at those.

On the line between being physical and taking too many penalties
I mean, I think we’re finding that out as we go. I think everyone knows what crossing the line is in the playoffs, but we just need to keep playing hard and see how the refs are calling it.

On the team’s excitement to get home for Game 3 with a 1-1 split
Yeah, for sure. We know that we can play, we know that we can win. We’re a confident group and we’re excited to head back home. We obviously wanted this one, but getting one is huge and we’re excited to get back to our fans and play in front of them.

On moving beyond tonight’s game quickly
It’s a seven-game series. I think we knew going in we weren’t going to go 16-0 in the playoffs. We just need to put it behind us and move forward.

Todd McLellan
On if the Kings can have a learning opportunity at this time of the year, or if it’s just a lopsided loss
It’s both. First, sometimes you tip your hat to the opposition, they played a really good game. Secondly, that’s called experience tonight. A lot of guys had their eyes opened up as to what playoffs are all about and others were reminded of what playoffs are all about. It happens in series, it happens more often than you think. We’ve got to go home now, recover, get some rest and we can play better than that.

On where the Kings fell short in playing to their identity tonight
There are some things that have to happen to win games. We have to win faceoffs, we have to pass, our passing was horrendous tonight, it was as bad as I’ve seen it in a long time. We know that we can fix that. Then, just playing with a bit of pace and your pace comes through your passing, so those are areas that I think we can fix. We can talk about it and discuss, and when you don’t have that going, you usually don’t have a lot of your game going.

On the start tonight and his thoughts on the opening 20 minutes
Yeah, our best chance was probably Iafallo’s opportunity on the power play, where it hit the post and the crossbar, but we did have two power plays that didn’t gain us a lot of momentum. Where the game changes is they get their power play and score and then they get the shortie and that shortie was a tough one to swallow. It’s a puck we should have been able to keep in on the half wall, all the momentum is going up with some of the best players in the world on the ice. If we just keep that puck in we have an opportunity to attack down low, but we don’t. That certainly changed the flow of the game, but they were the better team. It didn’t matter what we did in the second or the third, they were the better team.

On potential tweaks that can be made on the power play
With the power play, we’ll sit down and we’ll look at it. We moved Dubs in there a little bit, we had Lizzo on the ice with Brownie, so there were some things. Our power play is what our power play is. If anybody in this room, or anywhere else, thinks we’re going to reinvent the wheel on the flight home tomorrow, we aren’t. They have to execute and get the job done. If we execute at 16 percent like we did during the year, that might even be good enough, but operating at zero and giving up a goal is unacceptable.

On the small picture of tonight’s loss but the big picture of the 1-1 series split
We’re in the playoffs, we feel damn good. You used small and big picture, we don’t feel real good right now, we just got drilled on the road, but we’re man enough to admit it and we’re going to try to go and fix things, but we’re getting the chance. There’s a lot of teams right now that wish they had this opportunity to recover from a 6-0 loss and we have it. I think I said this morning, we’re not just here to gain experience, we’re here to try and win this thing. We have to fix some things and give them a game in Game 3.

Notes –

– Trevor Moore registered a game-high eight hits and tied for a game-high three blocked shots.
– Brendan Lemieux posted six hits, tied for second-most in the game.
– Edmonton has scored two goals on special teams in both Game 1 (2 PPG) and Game 2 (PPG, SHG).
– The Kings were shutout in postseason play for the first time since April 17, 2018, marking shutouts against in two of their last three games played in the playoffs.

The Kings are scheduled to travel back to Los Angeles tomorrow and will not practice. The team is set to return to the ice on Friday morning at 10:30 AM for pre-game skate at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo.

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