The Oilers slick was too much for the Kings

LA extended the Kings home playoff losing streak to six games

LA Kings head coach, Todd McLellan, entered the postgame interview room after an 8-2 loss to the Oilers in Game 3 of the first round NHL playoffs at Arena feeling a sense of deep frustration. After he adjusted the microphone on the podium, he made it clear in very few words - about 26 seconds - how he felt about his team's effort.

The first and only question was asking McLellan how he can explain the swing between Game 1 and how the team is performing now.

"You know what, we can do this really quick tonight," McLellan said. "I can summize it all up for you, [then] we can all go home. We weren't any good , we're really disappointed. We got trapped playing their game. You can ask me about individuals, I'll give the same answer for all of them - they weren't any good, and we have to regroup tomorrow. Anybody have anything else? Good night."

The Kings stole Game 1 in Edmonton but have been on a downhill slide since then, losing the next two games. The Kings have been held to only six goals in those three games, while the Oilers have netted 17.

Goals during Game 3 were coming in such a fury that McLellan made a decision to replace Jonathan Quick with Cal Petersen, which didn't help their losing cause.

This 8-2 Oilers victory in LA extended the Kings home playoff losing streak to six games. They were swept in the first round by Vegas the last time they were in the playoffs in 2018 and, before that, they lost in five games in the first round to the Sharks, and their only win came on the road. In order to find the Kings most recent playoff win at home, you have to go back to 2014 when Alec Martinez scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in double overtime to beat the Rangers.

The Kings miss Drew Doughty's presence on the blueline. Without Doughty, other players on the blueline have had to move up a notch and take on more responsibility, which is challenging given four of these six defenders are playing in their first NHL playoff series this season.

Keys to the Oilers success has been the fact that all of their lines are getting into the mix offensively.

While Evander Kane is leading the way with five goals in three games, the Oilers have had nine different players score a goal so far in this series with the Kings. No longer do the Oilers need to stack Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on one line because they have a pair of wingers who can set up plays and score goals.

Oilers goalie, Mike Smith, also deserves some props for the way he's bounced back after making that errant pass late in the third period of Game 1. He stopped 74 of 76 shots in Games 2 and 3 for a .974 save percentage.

Now, let's see if the Kings can bounce back in Game 4 at Arena and even up this series.


Reader Comments(0)