The Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers arrived in Crypto.com Arena for Game 3 of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings were able to come out of Edmonton with the series tied 1-1, after a massive Game 1 win in overtime thanks to Alex Iafallo’s game-winning goal in overtime.
That was only made possible by the referees calling back Ryan McLeod’s goal due to the stick being above the crossbar at the time of the goal. A massive call that has changed the course of this series. Without that call, the Oilers would be up 2-1. But, instead, Los Angeles is up 2-1 with another game on home ice before heading back to Canada.
Game 3 was a game that the LA Kings needed to win, and they did their job. The game opened up with zeroes on the scoreboard until roughly the final 30 seconds before intermission. Alex Iafallo and Anze Kopitar were pinned on the boards and then the puck was sent around the boards to the other side of the ice where it found its way onto Matt Roy’s stick.
Matt Roy immediately fired it on net, and Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse got lost watching the puck, which left the door wide open for Alex Iafallo to skate to the net untouched. Iafallo deflected the puck in mid-air and then tapped it in for the goal.
Now, in what was a tie game at zero is now a Los Angeles lead heading into the first intermission. Both teams had under 10 shots on goal. So, it was a very defensive game between the two Pacific Division foes.
Connor McDavid finally finds the back of the net for the first time in the series.
With about 14 minutes to go in the second period, Alex Edler gets called for tripping on Warren Foegele. The Kings were doing a phenomenal job killing off the penalty with shot blocks and clearing the puck out of the zone. But, as the power play was coming to a close, Connor McDavid fired it on net and scored his first goal of the series.
The remainder of that power play was killed off, but Kings’ forward Zack MacEwen got called for high-sticking against Nick Bjugstad, so the LA Kings were headed back on the penalty kill.
Moments later, McDavid had the puck on his stick in open space, skated towards the net, fired it around the body of Drew Doughty, and scored short-side on Joonas Korpisalo.
Not long after, Leon Draisaitl was removed from the ice after being called for unsportsmanlike conduct, sending the Kings onto the power play. After that, it didn’t take long for Adrian Kempe to even the score.
Coming off a face-off at center ice, the puck traveled around in the Kings’ zone before Viktor Arvidsson shot the puck out of a cannon, it bounced off the boards behind the Oilers’ net and right onto Adrian Kempe’s stick. Kempe swung his stick back as he would for a slap shot and fired the puck past Stuart Skinner, tying the game at 2-2.
The Oilers and the Kings kept each other off of the score sheet in the third period, leaving the game tied 2-2 heading into overtime.
Heading into overtime, the Oilers outshot the Kings 40-27. But, Joonas Korpisalo stood his ground and kept the Kings in it. Los Angeles held primary control in the fourth period as the Oilers were playing catch up.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got called for slashing Alex Iafallo about two minutes into overtime, giving LA the power play. As time was ticking down on the man advantage, Gabriel Vilardi passed it to Trevor Moore who was in front of the net, and he tucked it home for the game-winning goal.
LA heads into Game 4 with one game up on the Edmonton Oilers and will be playing on home ice. It is a great situation for the Kings to be in the middle of this long series.
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