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Edmonton Oilers ask fans to ‘refrain from throwing things on the ice’ at Rogers Place

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers are asking their fans to not turn cups and containers into projectiles at Rogers Place after a beverage nearly hit Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar in the aftermath of the series opener.

The Kings scoring a power-play goal with 16 seconds left in regulation and another power-play goal in overtime for a 4-3 overtime win in Game 1 vexed Oilers fans, because their team led by two goals twice in the game.

Glittering orange pompoms that awaited ticket-buyers at their seats upon arrival flew over the glass, as did a cup of liquid that landed just behind Kopitar heading toward centre ice to celebrate the victory.

“I really don’t care,” Kopitar said Wednesday before Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.

“I didn’t get hit. That’s all that counts.”

Oilers vice-president Tim Shipton wrote in a statement to The Canadian Press that Edmonton’s loud and passionate fans give the team a huge home-ice advantage inside Rogers Place.

“We know emotions run even higher during the playoffs and to ensure the safety of fans, players and officials, we’d like to remind fans to refrain from throwing things on the ice,” Shipton said.

“There is zero tolerance for this behaviour and no one wants to get ejected from a playoff game.

“Even though the vast majority of fans do not participate in this behaviour, everyone looks bad when it happens.

“These are isolated incidents that have rarely been seen at Rogers Place.”

A few orange pompoms hit the ice when the Oilers appeared to win in overtime, but the goal was disallowed because of a high stick.

Oilers winger Evander Kane says he understood the fans’ disappointment following the first game, but he doesn’t like players facing flying debris.

“It’s never something you want to see, but we have a real strong, passionate fan base here in Edmonton,” Kane said.

“That’s not a pretty scene, especially at the end of the game. I think it’s just maybe not the best way, but a way they’re showing their love and passion for our group.

“Hopefully we give them a better result tonight.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2023.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press