Kempe’s OT winner puts halt to Oilers’ valiant comeback effort as Kings sit 1 win away from series victory

Adrian Kempe scored 1:12 into overtime and the L.A. Kings held on for a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series on Tuesday in Edmonton.

Kempe muscled his way past his defender then wrapped a shot around Edmonton goalie Mike Smith to secure the victory.

The result means the Oilers need a win in Game 6 in L.A. on Thursday to stave off elimination.

Kempe also scored and had an assist for the Kings in regulation, while Troy Stecher, Andreas Anthansiou and Phillip Danault all had goals.

Edmonton got two goals and an assist from Leon Draisaitl, while Connor McDavid scored and contributed a pair of helpers. Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers, who were blanked 4-0 in Game 4 on Sunday.

Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for L.A. and Edmonton’s Mike Smith stopped 38-of-43 shots.

The Oilers came into the third period down 3-1 but used their special teams to claw their way back into the game with two power-play goals and a short-handed tally.

Edmonton scored the equalizer on yet another man advantage with 4:52 left in regulation after Danault was called for interference.

Collecting a slick pass across the slot from McDavid, Draisaitl hammered a one-timer from the bottom of the faceoff circle for his fifth goal of the playoffs and his second of the game.

A four-minute minor set up much of the action in the third after Ryan McLeod was called for a high stick on Matt Roy 9:13 into the frame.

The Kings took a 4-2 lead at the 11:06 mark when a backdoor shot from Danault trickled over the goal line.

L.A. stayed on the power play, but it was Edmonton who scored next.

McDavid drove the net then sliced a puck into the slot where Alex Iafallo tried to sweep it away but put it instead on Draisaitl’s tape. The star sniper sent it into the back of the net to make it 4-3 at the 12:33 mark.

A power-play goal from McDavid 2:50 into the third cut the Oilers’ deficit to 3-2.

Just three seconds after Blake Lizotte was called for high-sticking, McDavid sent a backhanded shot off the crossbar and in over Quick, sprawled in the crease.

The goal was the second of the playoffs for the Oilers’ captain.

Edmonton was two for three on the power play Tuesday and L.A. went one for five.

Kings’ lead going into final period

A patient play by Athanasiou boosted the Kings’ lead to 3-1 in the middle frame.

Dustin Brown collided with Zach Hyman in the Oilers’ zone and took off with the puck, slipping a pass to Athanasiou, stationed at the side of the net. Athanasiou waited for Smith to dive, then sent a shot into the far corner of the net 13:34 into the second.

The Kings retook the lead midway through the second after Kopitar picked off a pass at the Oilers’ blue line.

He took a few strides into the Edmonton zone before slicing a pass to Kempe, who nearly lost the puck but reached behind himself to retrieve it before firing a wrist shot past Smith to make it 2-1 at the 9:29 mark.

Kassian temporarily injected some life into the listless Oilers with a goal 2:32 into the second.

McDavid picked up a rebound and instead of trying to force it in past Quick, the captain took it around the back of the net and found Kassian, who popped a shot in over defenceman Mikey Anderson lying in the crease for the equalizer.

It was the first goal Edmonton scored in four periods after being shutout 4-0 in Game 4 on Sunday.

The Kings controlled the shot clock across the first, outshooting the Oilers 16-5, despite Edmonton having the lone power play of the period.

The home side had chances with the man advantage and forced Quick into a sliding splits save at the side of the net.

Stecher opened the scoring 3:43 into the game with a slap shot from about the faceoff circle for his second goal of the playoffs.

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