GAME 5 FINAL – Kings 3, Oilers 4 – Kopitar, Doughty, Danault, Hiller

The LA Kings saw their 2023-24 season come to a close in Game 5, following a 4-3 defeat against the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton opened the scoring in Game 5 off the rush, as they scored the game’s first goal for the fourth time in the series. Defenseman Brett Kulak and forward Evander Kane executed a give-and-go off the rush in transition to gain the offensive blueline, with Kane eventually scoring on the backhand and in from the right-hand circle for his second goal of the series and an early 1-0 advantage.

The Kings equalized in the final minute of the opening period, however, with forward Alex Laferriere capitalizing on a fortuitous bounce for his first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov rimmed the puck around the boards and it kicked favorably behind the net, directly into the slot, where Laferriere put it into the empty net to tie the game at one.

After killing the game’s first penalty, the Kings scored over a minute later, with forward Blake Lizotte burying his first goal of the series. Forward Viktor Arvidsson weighted a pass perfectly in stride to Lizotte, who snapped a shot past Edmonton netminder Stuart Skinner on the blocker side for the first LA lead of the evening.

On a sequence of goals coming either on the power play, or shortly after a penalty had expired, the Oilers scored three times in the middle stanza, taking a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.

First, Edmonton tied the game through forward Leon Draisaitl, despite the best efforts of Kings netminder David Rittich to keep the puck out of the net. Draisaitl hammered a one-timer, off a pass from forward Connor McDavid and although Rittich made the save with the glove, the puck was determined to have completely crossed the goal line inside Rittich’s glove for the game-tying goal.

The Oilers then scored twice within five seconds of a penalty expiring to take their first two-goal lead of the evening.

First, Draisaitl cashed in from the slot for his second goal of the game. McDavid took the puck around the net, displayed patience as he circled on his forehand and found Draisaitl in the low slot, where he shot past Rittich for a 3-2 advantage. Inside a minute to play in the second period, forward Zach Hyman scored his team-leading seventh goal of the series to put the hosts ahead 4-2.

After a third period that seemingly flew by, the Kings pulled a goal back inside three minutes to play in regulation, as forward Adrian Kempe scored his team-leading fourth goal of the series to bring the visitors back within a goal. Defenseman Matt Roy fired towards the net, with Kempe getting a deflection in the high slot, past Skinner, bringing us to the eventual 4-3 final.

Hear from team captains Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Phillip Danault and Head Coach Jim Hiller following tonight’s game.

Anze Kopitar

Drew Doughty

Phillip Danault

Jim Hiller

Notes –
– Alex Laferriere (1-0=1) scored his first goal of the Playoffs for his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal.
– Blake Lizotte (1-0=1) netted his first goal of the Playoffs for the first goal of his Stanley Cup Playoff career. The goal came in Lizotte’s 15th career playoff game, making him the 11th skater in Kings history to score a goal in their 15th career Playoff game and the fourth undrafted Kings skater to do so, joining Lowell MacDonald, Warren Rychel and Alex Iafallo.
– Adrian Kempe (1-0=1) scored his fourth goal of the Playoffs for his 19th career Playoff point (11-8=19) against the Oilers, breaking a tie with Steve Duchesne (5-13=18) for sole possession of the fifth-most Playoff points against the Oilers in franchise history.
– Vladislav Gavrikov (0-1=1) picked up his second assist of the Playoffs for his fifth career Playoff assist (1-5=6).
– Matt Roy (0-2=2) tallied his first and second assists of the Playoffs for his fifth and sixth career postseason points (1-5=6), becoming the 13th defenseman selected in the 2015 NHL Draft to record at least five career Playoff points. The pair of assists marked Roy’s first career multi-point Playoff game.
– Viktor Arvidsson (0-1=1) picked up his third assist of the Playoffs, tying Quinton Byfield for the team lead in assists these Playoffs.
– Andreas Englund (0-1=1) notched his first assist of the Playoffs for his first career Playoff point.
– Kevin Fiala (0-1=1) picked up his first assist of the postseason.
– Drew Doughty skated in his 95th career Stanley Cup Playoff game, breaking a tie with Luc Robitaille (94GP) for sole possession of the second-most Playoff games played in franchise history.

The Kings will head home to Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon. The team will hold exit interviews upon their return to California, with the exact date and time unknown as of this writing.

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