The LA Kings took a 2-1 lead over the Edmonton Oilers after a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night at Crypto.com Arena.
Forward Trevor Moore scored the game-winning goal 3:24 into overtime for his first goal of the playoffs, while forwards Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe also scored in the win. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 38 saves on 40 shots to secure his second win of the playoffs.
After an aggressive and quick opener, the Kings opened the scoring in the final minute to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. After initially deflecting Matt Roy’s shot off the right spot, Iafallo stayed with the game in front and netted the rebound for his second goal of the series.
Edmonton responded though through their captain, who scored twice on the power play, less than two minutes apart, to give the visitors the lead. First, Connor McDavid entered the left circle and beat Korpisalo clean from the glove side for his first goal of the series. From an almost identical spot, McDavid shot home from the tackle side for his second count of the period, both on the power play, for a 2-1 lead.
The Kings responded just 18 seconds after McDavid’s second goal, however, to tie the game at two. Forward Viktor Arvidsson threw a hard stretch pass from the boards, with Kempe winning the run and snatching the puck off the wall, past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner on the glove side, for his third goal of the series.
After a third period that saw no team breakthrough, the game progressed to overtime. Going into extra session, the Kings took a 2-1 series lead thanks to Moore, who scored his first goal of the series in spectacular fashion. With the Kings on the power play, forward Gabe Vilardi led Moore in front, where he finished just outside the crease for the first time for a 3-2 win. After a lengthy review for a potential high-batting infraction, the goal was upheld, giving the Kings the win and the series advantage.
Hear from Anze Kopitar, Moore, Iafallo, Korpisalo and Head Coach Todd McLellan after tonight’s win.
Anze Kopitar and Trevor Moore
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) April 22, 2023
On the team leaving tonight and whether he and the Kings got what they wanted
It was good, it was a huge team effort right off the bat, which we were talking about. I just fight hard in the corners, defensively, offensively, just to try to win some pucks and I think everybody did a good job.
On the importance of special teams and the winning goal in overtime
Yes, special teams is huge and scoring a goal like that in extra time is what we worked for and we have to keep doing good things at special teams level. It’s going to be a huge part of the series.
When he knew his goal was in
Like when I tipped. I saw him go in the air and didn’t put enough wood on him, but I just saw him go to the net and hoped he came in.
It’s Joonas Korpisalo’s play again tonight
Yes, he did an amazing job for us. Korpi is playing really well, he makes huge saves on the powerplay, he’s been great for us and that gives us energy. In the future, especially in the D area, he is able to save them and we are able to eliminate them and move forward.
On what happens to him during a long review like overtime
Yeah, we were just waiting, I had no idea what they were looking at either, so I went back to my net and just prepared to go back there, in case they overturned the goal. Just reset and come back.
On how he saw the team walk out the door
Yes, we played hard, we had a lot of hits and we played hard in both nets. I’m really happy with that, the guys played really well today.
On how he saw the team walk out the door
I feel good, I’m going game by game and just trying to do my best. I feel pretty good.
To finally be able to play the playoffs in front of a full crowd
This crowd was electric. We just fed off of it and just seeing the building erupt on the last goal was pretty cool. I’ve never played the playoffs in front of a crowd before, so it’s really good, it’s fun. You must appreciate that.
On his team continues to show resilience in this series
There is no secret, there is no magic potion, we do not want to rally behind, but a lot of character in the room. The guys have a pretty good belief system and understand that every minute counts. We have to use every second the game gives us to try to beat a very good club.
On what went through his mind during the long overtime goal review
Quite frankly, I didn’t know it was being reviewed, we all walked off the ice obviously and thought everything was fine. There was a pause and then all of a sudden we were notified, the coaching staff, that he was being reviewed for a high stick. After that, it’s done, the two teams stay there, it’s out of our control, it goes to the league officials who examine it and they judge if it’s good or not.
On a much improved Kings start tonight
We were better in the first and luckily for us we managed to kill a minute penalty. It gave us a bit of confidence, a bit of energy, and then our fans. They were there to start, it calmed down a bit, but once we killed that penalty the fans were engaged and we could feel some energy and confidence again.
By getting another timely power play goal tonight
Well, a lot has been done, and rightly so, about Edmonton’s power play. They’re dangerous, you’re not going to stop them and for us playing as close to par as possible in special teams situations gives us the best chance of success. We’re doing our best to get there, whether we’re scoring or preventing, and going 5-on-5. There’s only three games left, there’s a lot of hockey left and we have a lot of work to do.
On improvements in the face-off circle and whether it led to more puck possession
Yes, we were sometimes better at it. It’s not just winning, it’s not just winning or losing, it’s kind of what happens immediately after that is important, both for and against us. We were a little better in this area tonight, I think we still have room for improvement.
On all the potential bigger storylines carried over between games
Each of the games have been, I suppose, similar but different, if that makes sense. Every game has its own personality and the way it plays out is a little different, but we’ve played – both teams have played, what, 18 times in the last 15 months – there aren’t many secrets. There’s not an underhand play here or there, there can be an odd play, but for 60 minutes it’s two good teams playing really hard hockey and I don’t see that changing.
– Adrian Kempe scored his third goal for the team in the playoffs. His second-period goal marked his 10th career playoff point (5-5-10) against Edmonton, the most of any active skater. Kempe’s five playoff goals against the Oilers are tied among active skaters with Jakob Silfverberg.
– Alex Iafallo scored his second goal of the series and his third career playoff point. Iafallo scored with 33 seconds left in the first period, making it the Kings’ third goal this postseason scored with less than a minute left in any period: Gabriel Vilardi, 19:16 from P2, April 19 at EDM and Anze Kopitar, 19:43 from P3 on April 17 at EDM).
– Trevor Moore scored his first playoff overtime goal and fourth of his career in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. According to NHL PR, Moore (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) is just the fourth California-born player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in the playoffs, joining Brooks Orpik (Game 2 of 2019 R1 and Game 6 of 2013 CQF), Auston Matthews (Game 4 of SCQ 2020) and Jason Zucker (Game 3 of CQF 2013).
– Drew Doughty assisted on Kempe’s second-period tying goal for his 31st point in the playoffs at home (11-20-31), tying Tomas Sandstrom (13-18-31) for fourth-most points in the playoffs home playoffs in franchise history.
– Anze Kopitar recorded his fourth assist and fifth point in the playoffs. It was also his 75th career playoff point (23-52-75), making him the third player to record 75 playoff points as a member of the Kings, the other two being Luc Robitaille (41 -48-89) and Wayne Gretzky (29-65-94).
– Viktor Arvidsson, Quinton Byfield, Matt Roy and Gabriel Vilardi each had an assist, Vilardi’s first in the playoffs.
–Joonas Korpisalo stopped 38 of 40 shots for his fifth career playoff victory as he improved to 2-1 in the series.
The Kings are scheduled to practice tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo.