Phillip Danault scored 14:46 into the third period and the L.A. Kings held off the Edmonton Oilers for a 4-3 win in Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup on Monday.
Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo each scored and had an assist for L.A., and Brandon Lemieux contributed a goal.
Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto replied with a goal and an assist apiece, and Leon Draisaitl rounded out the scoring with a power-play tally.
L.A. goalie Jonathan Quick made 35 saves for the win and Mike Smith stopped 31-of-35 shots for Edmonton.
The Oilers finished the regular season second in the Pacific Division with a 49-27-6 record to earn home ice advantage and fans responded by packing Rogers Place with a sold out crowd for the opening game.
Moore opened the scoring 11 minutes into Monday’s game, ripping a shot from inside the face-off circle over Smith’s outstretched glove.
He then set Iafallo up to give L.A. a 2-0 lead 16:52 into the first. Stationed bellow the goal line, Moore sent Iafallo a behind-the-back pass and Iafallo wasted no time putting it into the Oilers’ net.
Edmonton cut the deficit before the end of the opening frame with another highlight-reel worthy goal from McDavid.
The Oilers’ captain sprinted the length of the ice, holding off several Kings defenders, and fired a snap shot past Quick to make it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first.
WATCH l McDavid scores impressive goal in Game 1:
Chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” followed from the boisterous crowd. McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy this season after posting a league-best 123 points.
The Oilers evened the score early in the second with a power-play marker after Iafallo was called for tripping.
Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot and Yamamoto tipped it in from the back door 2:39 into the period.
The score didn’t stay knotted at 2-2 for long. Lemieux sent a shot sailing from the top of the faceoff circle off a rush 3:50 into the second to restore the Kings’ lead.
McDavid sent a pass flying from the boards with the puck ricocheting off a broken stick in the slot before Draisaitl settled it and blasted a quick shot past Quick 9:56 into the second.
Edmonton went 2 for 4 with the man advantage on Monday and L.A was 0 for 4.
The Kings took the lead for a final time 14:46 after Danault found space between Smith and his post.
Moments earlier, the goalie tried to clear the puck from behind the net and instead put it on the stick of a L.A. player in front. Smith made a diving save but couldn’t corral the puck and seconds later a long bomb went over his shoulder.
Game 2 goes Wednesday in Edmonton. The series shifts to L.A. for Game 3 on Friday.
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