LOS ANGELES — Kailer Yamamoto scored the late third-period winner for the Edmonton Oilers in a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings to close out their playoff series Saturday.
The Oilers took the best-of-seven conference quarterfinal four games to two. Edmonton meets the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round.
Yamamoto scored his first of the playoffs at 16:58 of the third period. He circled to the top of the faceoff circle and throwing an off-speed shot through traffic into the top corner of the Los Angeles net.
Klim Kostin scored two goals and had an assist and Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist for the Oilers.
Leon Draisaitl also scored for Edmonton. Defencemen Evan Bouchard and Vincent Desharnais each had two assists.
Stuart Skinner made a series-high 40 saves for the win.
The Oilers’ goalie had the bad luck to break his stick in the third period, which led to a Kings’ short-handed goal to tie the game.
Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists for Los Angeles. Philip Danault scored the short-handed goal and Sean Durzi and Adrian Kempe also scored for the Kings.
Joonas Korpisalo stopped 21 shots in the loss after he was pulled in the second period of Game 5 in Edmonton.
Edmonton led 2-1 and 4-3 at period breaks despite getting outshot 33-19 over two periods.
Danault scored the short-handed equalizer at 6:42 of the third.
Skinner appeared to break his stick on an up-ice pass, which left the puck in front of the crease for Danault to chip over the sprawling goalie.
Kostin collected his second of the game pouncing on a loose puck in the slot at 10:54 of the second period to make it 4-3 for the visitors.
Fiala had pulled the Kings even with a power-play goal at 8:16 when he slung a shot by Skinner’s glove.
Fiala, who sat out the first three games of the series with a lower-body injury, produced a goal and five assists after rejoining the Kings’ lineup.
The two sides traded power-play goals earlier in the second. Draisaitl with his seventh goal of the series made it 3-1 at 4:05, but Kempe cut the deficit at 6:36.
Draisaitl one-timed McDavid’s cross-ice pass past Korpisalo for his 70th career playoff point in 43 games.
That’s the third-fastest in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky (29 games played) and Mario Lemieux (36), said league statisticians.
Kempe scored his fifth of the series with a wrist shot top corner off a Fiala feed.
Kings defenceman Drew Doughty prevented a third Edmonton goal in the first period. He stopped a Darnell Nurse blast with the inside of his left foot, when Nurse had an open net for a target.
The Oilers led 2-1 on Kostin’s goal at 12:12. The Russian carried the puck over the blue line to the high slot where he whipped the puck over Korpisalo’s stick.
Durzi drew the Kings even at 8:13. Fiala skated the puck into the zone and dished to Durzi, who took advantage of the traffic in front of Skinner to beat him with a low shot.
McDavid scored his first even-strength goal of the series 85 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Korpisalo made an initial stop on McDavid, but the Kings’ goalie lost control of the rebound for Edmonton to cycle through the zone again.
Bouchard threaded the puck to McDavid on Korpisalo’s right and the Oilers captain redirected the puck under the L.A. goalie’s pad.
Edmonton converted one of two power-play chances to go 9-for-16 in the series. The Kings were 2-for-3 on Saturday and 6-for-20 overall.
The Oilers went the full seven games to beat the Kings in last year’s first round en route to the Western Conference final.
Edmonton was swept in four straight in that final by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
Oilers forward Mattias Janmark hasn’t played since Game 1 when he took a shot off the foot, but the Swede participated in Saturday morning’s pre-game skate. … Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard extended his playoff point streak to six straight games (two goals, eight assists). … The Kings were minus forward Blake Lizotte (lower body) a fourth straight game.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2023
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press