Oilers advance to second round of playoffs with 2-0 win over Kings

The Edmonton Oilers are moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after a 2-0 win over the L.A. Kings Saturday night at Rogers Place. The Oilers won the series 4-3.

​”It feels good to win a playoff round. It’s only the second one I’ve been a part of,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “It’s definitely a special feeling.”

“It feels good to do it with this group,” Draisaitl added after the win. “We’ve been through stuff all season — for a lot of years, even — a lot of ups and downs and a lot of negative stuff, so it feels great to have this feeling right now.”

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With the crowd in a frenzy, the Oilers had the better of the play early as it took the Kings eight minutes to register a shot on goal.

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​”It’s a dream come true,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said about coaching in front of the Rogers Place crowd on Saturday. “Obviously, the city of Edmonton is behind us.

“The rink was electric today.”

Josh Archibald was bloodied when he took a stick to the face, prompting a video review for a four-minute penalty. The tape showed Archibald was struck by teammate Duncan Keith. The first period was scoreless.

Halfway through the second, Zach Hyman tossed the puck into the crease. It pinballed in behind Jonathan Quick and appeared destined to open the scoring, but Andreas Athanasiou pulled it off the goal line.

The Oilers top line cranked up the forecheck later in the second. Kailer Yamamoto made a leaping play to hold the puck in at the blue line. A few seconds later, Connor McDavid set up behind the net and fed Cody Ceci, who went high to the short side on Quick for his first of the series.

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​”I find myself getting more chances and more opportunities to chip in offensively,” Ceci said.

“To have the building go crazy like that is a pretty good adrenaline rush. That’s one I’ll remember for a while.”

The Oilers outshot the Kings 24-10 in the second period, including a stretch of 17 straight shots. The 24 shots in a period set a new team playoff record.

“They play a stingy game and do a good job of getting pucks to the net and break you down that way, but we stuck with it,” McDavid said.

“We tried to put an emphasis on playing the game tight,” Woodcroft added. “In the last two elimination games that we were facing, we had habits that held up under pressure, and that’s a good sign for us as we move forward.”

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Josh Archibald had a breakaway one minute into the third but couldn’t cash in. Not long after, Yamamoto had a great look from the slot but fired it off the post.

It took the Kings over ten minutes to register a shot in the third, but it was a dangerous one as Trevor Moore fired a one-timer from the right side. Mike Smith got across to make the save.

​”Playing our best game of the series in the biggest (game), you can’t help but gain confidence from that,” Smith said.

“Getting through the first round has been kind of a crux for a little while, so I think it’s a big boost for this group.”

With 3:53 left, McDavid got in behind Sean Durzi, who was going to be called for a penalty while in pursuit. McDavid kept the puck alive and shovelled a backhand past Quick for his fourth.

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“That series pushed us in a certain way that made us grow, and we learned a lot about ourselves in the last two weeks and the price that needs to be paid to have success at this time of year,” Woodcroft said.

Smith made 29 saves for his second shutout of the series. Quick made 39 stops.

The Oilers will play either the Calgary Flames or the Dallas Stars in the second round.

With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

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