• The Kings’ Carl Grundstrom, right, watches as the Edmonton Oilers’...

    The Kings’ Carl Grundstrom, right, watches as the Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane (91), Connor McDavid (97) and Jesse Puljujarvi (13) celebrate a goal during the third period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Quinton Byfield is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie...

    The Kings’ Quinton Byfield is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith, left, as Kailer Yamamoto defends during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Anze Kopitar, right, and the Edmonton Oilers’ Evan...

    The Kings’ Anze Kopitar, right, and the Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard (75) vie for the puck during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Phillip Danault is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie...

    The Kings’ Phillip Danault is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith, left, as Duncan Keith defends during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Alex Iafallo, bottom, is checked by the Edmonton...

    The Kings’ Alex Iafallo, bottom, is checked by the Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith looks as the puck is...

    Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith looks as the puck is almost across the line on a shot from the Kings during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Trevor Moore is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie...

    The Kings’ Trevor Moore is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith during the first period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl celebrates a goal against the...

    The Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl celebrates a goal against the Kings during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ Zach Hyman, left, Leon Draisaitl, center, and...

    The Edmonton Oilers’ Zach Hyman, left, Leon Draisaitl, center, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins celebrate a goal against the Kings during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Brendan Lemieux and the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian...

    The Kings’ Brendan Lemieux and the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian exchange words during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save on the Edmonton...

    Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save on the Edmonton Oilers’ Kailer Yamamoto, right, as Matt Roy defends during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Kings goalie Jonathan Quick gives up a goal to the...

    Kings goalie Jonathan Quick gives up a goal to the Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse, left, and Evander Kane celebrate...

    The Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse, left, and Evander Kane celebrate a goal against the Kings during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save against the Edmonton...

    Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl, front, during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • From left, the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian, Ryan McLeod, Evan...

    From left, the Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian, Ryan McLeod, Evan Bouchard and Warren Foegele celebrate a goal against the Kings during the second period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane is congratulated after scoring a...

    The Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Kings during the third period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Andreas Athanasiou is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie...

    The Kings’ Andreas Athanasiou is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith during the third period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi celebrates a goal against the...

    The Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi celebrates a goal against the Kings during the third period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Kings’ Phillip Danault, right, checks the Edmonton Oilers’ Tyson...

    The Kings’ Phillip Danault, right, checks the Edmonton Oilers’ Tyson Barrie during the third period of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • The Edmonton Oilers celebrate their 6-0 victory over the Kings...

    The Edmonton Oilers celebrate their 6-0 victory over the Kings in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

  • Edmonton Oilers fans watch the opening ceremony before Game 2...

    Edmonton Oilers fans watch the opening ceremony before Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against the Kings on Wednesday night in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

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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 Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Sunday nights.

Winger Evander Kane had two goals and an assist, center Ryan McLeod had one of each and winger Jesse Puljujarvi, defenseman Darnell Nurse and forward Leon Draisaitl also scored. Center Connor McDavid and defenseman Evan Bouchard had two assists apiece, with McDavid logging his fifth multipoint outing in six games against the Kings this season. Mike Smith bounced back from a game-deciding blunder in Game 1 to earn a shutout with a perfect 30-save night.

Quick had 30 saves too, but only twice this season did he surrender as many goals in a game as he did in this one.

“That’s called experience tonight. A lot of guys had their eyes opened up as to what playoffs was all about, and others were reminded of what playoffs are all about,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We can play better. We know that.”

The Kings finished the night 0 for 4 on the power play, while ceding two man-advantage goals and a short-handed goal. McLellan cautioned against any notion of his staff “reinventing the wheel” before Game 3, but he insisted his two units could perform better.

“If we operate at 16 percent like we were during the year, that might even be good enough. But operating at zero and giving up a goal is unacceptable,” he said.

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

“We just got drilled on the road, but we’re man enough to admit it and we’re going to try and fix things,” McLellan said. “We’re not just here to gain experience, we’re here to try to win this thing.”

With 8:05 left, Kane whipped a wrist shot through defenseman Alex Edler’s legs that ascended to beat Quick above his left shoulder for an academic goal from the right circle.

Just over three minutes into the closing period, Edmonton 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.

A long, lofted pass that clanked off the recipient’s stick set up the counterattack, part of a woeful night of tape-to-wherever passes by the Kings. McLellan said his team’s lack of passing proficiency also undermined its pace and speed.

“Our passing was horrendous tonight. It was as bad as I’ve seen it in a long time. We know we can fix that,” McLellan said. “When you don’t have that going, you usually don’t have a lot of your game going.”

Early in the second period, the Oilers proved opportunistic where the Kings had not been – on special teams. They scored on a 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.

“We just didn’t play hard enough, really. Obviously, we got some power-play opportunities early, we didn’t convert, and they did,” team captain Anze Kopitar said. “It was a pretty big turning point in the game and we couldn’t really get it going.”

After failing to score on a second power play, Edmonton extended its lead while shorthanded off the rush less than five minutes after its 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 period. It was Nurse’s first postseason goal in 23 career playoff games.

Edmonton added an insurance goal with 3:55 left in the period when McLeod scored his first career playoff goal by setting up in the slot, facing 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 defenseman Duncan Keith gave the Kings a second power play, which they almost scored on when winger Alex Iafallo’s backhand shot struck the intersection between the post and crossbar.

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

“We came here, we got the split. We wanted to get two but not everything’s gonna go perfect,” Kopitar said. “So, the series is tied, we’re going home, we should be excited and we are excited to bring it back to L.A. 1-1.”

https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/05/04/oilers-rout-kings-in-game-2-to-even-series/