Kostin scores winner as Oilers hold off Kings to even series after blowing another lead
Leon Draisaitl continued his torrid start to the NHL playoffs, but the Edmonton Oilers also relied on their depth for a 4-2 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday to even their playoff series with a win each.
Klim Kostin made the game-winner in the third period for Edmonton on Wednesday. Evander Kane scored an empty netter and Derek Ryan also scored.
“You’re not going to win 16 games with your best two lines scoring every goal and doing everything,” Draisaitl said in a postgame press conference.
“You need guys like Klimer, you need guys like Derek Ryan to step in every now and then. We’ve been really, really fortunate all year to find those guys and have those guys on our team.”
WATCH |: Costin’s 1st career playoff goal helps Oilers even in series.
Oilers captain and NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid had an assist on his first point of the playoffs. He fell behind in Game 1.
Edmonton goaltender Stewart Skinner made 23 saves in his first NHL playoff win. Kings counterpart Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots in the loss.
Gabriel Villardi and Philippe Dano scored for the Kings. Villardi returned to the lineup after missing the final nine games of the regular season and the first game of the series with a lower-body injury.
The Oilers ruled out winger Matias Janmark, who blocked a tough shot on Monday.
Defenseman Phillip Broberg entered the lineup as the Oilers went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
That setup boosted Draisaitl’s five-per-five minutes to 19 minutes, 28 seconds, compared to his regular-season average of 17:06 at even strength.
He was involved in Edmonton’s first three goals. Draisaitl’s check in the neutral zone on Arthur Kaliev along the boards forced a Kostin turnover.
The Russian skated down the rink and fired a shot past Korpisalo, much to the delight and relief of the sea of orange at Rogers Place.
“I was actually looking for Leo,” Kostin said. “I was just trying to hit [to] his hands. I trust him more than myself. I saw three boys around me. I had nothing to do [but] shoot the dosh and it’s in.”
Draisaitl’s shot went off the back wall to the side of the net for Ryan to tap in under Korpisalo’s left guard at 6:57 of the first period.
Draisaitl knelt down to deflect a shot from McDavid upstairs at 12:06 for Korpisalo, and he scored his third goal in two games.
Playoff power play Drai 😤 pic.twitter.com/H5TXxsrDcE
“He’s been the best player on the ice through two games, by far,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “He found a way to get things done in different ways and that was a big reason we won the game tonight.”
Edmonton let Los Angeles back into the game for the second straight game after building a two-goal lead, but the Oilers were able to close it out on Wednesday.
“We don’t want it to happen every game, but these situations happen in the playoffs,” Draisaitl said. “The swings in momentum seem to be a lot bigger, a lot more dramatic and up and down than in the regular season.”
Trailing 2-0 after the first half, the Kings pulled even with goals at 14:38 and 19:16 of the second.
Villardi scored his team’s second goal with a shot down the goal line and a shot off the back of Skinner’s skate and into the net.
Dano cut the deficit in half by cutting in front of the net and lifting her own shot over Skinner’s pad on a backhand.
“That’s a bad recipe for swinging and falling behind on this team,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “When you’re ahead, you have a much better chance of checking and not taking as many risks as you have to come back.
“The frustrating thing for me is there were some things we had to do early in the game. We didn’t decide to do them until the second, third period.”
Los Angeles didn’t get a shot on net until 17:58 of the opening period, which the Kings won 11-3.
#Kostin #scores #winner #Oilers #hold #Kings #series #blowing #lead