LA Kings eliminated from Stanley Cup playoffs after 2-0 loss to Oilers in Game 7 – NBC Los Angeles

There were brief moments Saturday night at the packed Rogers Place in Edmonton, where the Los Angeles Kings looked like the two-time Stanley Cup champions of the last decade. Certainly goalkeeper Jonathan Quick looked a lot like the veteran 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

Unfortunately for the Kings, those moments were few and far between. For most of the game, LA looked like the underdog in the first-round showdown with Edmonton, forced to try to stop onslaught after onslaught of the Oilers’ vaunted offense.

Ultimately, by the time the final bell rang signaling the end of the third period, the Kings were unable to extend their season any further. After the loss, they found themselves in a familiar place: unable to advance, they passed the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the eighth straight season.

A 2-0 loss to the Oilers in Game 7 sent the Kings to Cancun sooner than anyone wanted, forced to piece together a disappointing end to the season while simultaneously continuing the rebuild that brought them back to the post-season. season for the first time since 2018.

Going into Game 7 of the winter in Edmonton, the team that scored first went on to win every game in the series. Both teams did their best to try to score first in the first half, each with several chances to score, but the first 20 goalless minutes put more pressure on the home side and kept the Reis’ confidence high in the second half.

For most of the second period it was pretty much the same, the tension inside Rogers Place was palpable, every time Edmonton came close to breaking out, the fans held their breath in excitement, but somehow Quick managed to thwart every visitor. , until the exhale finally came with just 6:45 left in the second.

The Kings were hoping to survive another frantic offensive attack from the Oilers when team MVP Connor McDavid squandered the opportunity for another goal as he had in Game 6, running into a Cody Ceci, who once found open space on the far right. side of the net for the first goal of the game.

In a game full of “almosts”, things finally turned in the home team’s favor. The Oliers, who were the highest-ranked team during the regular season, not to mention the big favorites that made it into the series, finally advanced. With luck in their favor with the team that scored first in the series, they only had to wait another 20 minutes for a chance to face rivals Calgary Flames in the semifinals.

The Kings held out for most of the third period, but it was McDavid again, who sealed the win with a tremendous backhand goal with 3:53 left in the game. The insurance objective was easily one of the biggest goals of McDavid’s young career.

Regardless of the outcome, it was NHL fans who were the real winners after the series. The Oilers and Kings first-round series was full of drama, intrigue, and wild swings of momentum. After the Kings stole Game 1 in Edmonton, the Oilers overcame LA 14-2 in Games 2 and 3 to lead the series 2-1.

But the Kings bounced back at home in Game 4, Quick led them to a 4-0 shutout that tied the series, and they capitalized on the momentum in Game 5 in Edmonton, where Adrian Kempe’s overtime goal sent LA to a 5-4 victory, pushing the Oilers to the brink of elimination.

The inexperienced Oilers did not falter in Game 6 in Los Angeles however. Even as the 2-0 lead slipped and the Kings came back to equalize late in the third period, the Oilers dug deep to get the win and send the series back to Rogers Place for Game 7.

In total, five of the eight Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series reached Game 7; a big win for hockey.

Despite the defeat, Quick was sensational, stopping 39 shots. His teammate Mike Smith made 29 saves.

The biggest difference in the game was the big difference in shots on goal. The Oilers beat the Kings nearly 2-1, 41-29.

At the forefront of the Kings’ future is how they will move forward without longtime captain Dustin Brown. The 20-year veteran announced his retirement before the start of the playoffs. Brown will likely lead a big void in the locker room, as many young players in the squad have admitted they have turned to Brown for advice and guidance over the years.

Other difficult decisions will also have to be made by the Kings’ front office. The team has eight unrestricted free agents, including Olli Maata, Alexander Edler, Troy Stetcher and Andreas Athanasiou, whose second-half header saved a goal. Game 5 hero Adrian Kempe is a restricted free agent, and it seems highly unlikely the Kings will let him go.

Regardless, now that the Kings are back in the Stanley Cup playoffs and nearly knocked out the Oilers in the first round, the future of rebuilding looks bright for the Kings.

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