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Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings Pick & Prediction MAY 12TH 2022

NHL | HOCKEY
TV: Sportsnet | TBS | TVAS | CBC | BSN
Logo Edmonton Oilers
VS
Logo Los Angeles Kings
0
OPENNER
6.5

-1.5 +175
CURRENT
6.5o -105

+220
MONEYLINE
+220

4
SCORE
2

Lacking the massive star power of their opponent, the Los Angeles Kings went into their Western Conference opening-round series with the Edmonton Oilers as decided underdogs.

A resilient approach now has the Kings heading into Thursday's home clash against their Pacific Division rival with the opportunity to advance to the next round.

After Tuesday's 5-4 overtime victory at Edmonton, the Kings have a 3-2 series lead and an opportunity to close out the best-of-seven matchup in their own building.

"We don't want to be that team that just goes to the playoffs, loses in four and goes on vacation. We want to achieve some stuff, do some good things, be proud of ourselves," Kings forward Phillip Danault said. "We believe in ourselves and that we can do some damage. It was good the last two games and we want to be even better next game."

In NHL history, teams that win Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead have an all-time record of 219-58 (.791) in best-of-seven series. Road teams that won Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead have an 82-25 mark (.764).

The odds are now in the Kings' favor, which has been no small feat considering they lost the second and third games of the series by a combined score of 14-2. Los Angeles responded with a 4-0 home win before taking a 4-2 lead midway through the third period of Tuesday's clash. But they watched it disappear before Adrian Kempe scored 72 seconds into overtime.

"We need to get better, not keep doing what we're doing," Kings coach Todd McLellan said. "It's got to go up in some areas. We have to clean some things up. These last two games that we've played won't be good enough in Game 6, so we'll have to find a way to be better."

The Oilers handily finished second in the Pacific Division but are in danger of being upset for a third consecutive playoffs. It's not what was expected from a team led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

"You never like to lose, but we have seven games for a reason," McDavid said. "We need to win one on the road and bring it back to Edmonton."

A better start is an important place to begin. So far, the Oilers have been outscored by a combined 5-3 count in the first period and been out-shot by an 85-47 margin.

"The answer lies in our room," Draisaitl said of the team's early struggles. "We have to come out a little harder. We have to come out with our skating legs underneath us. We haven't had that the last couple games, not any games really in this series."

Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft will have to ensure his players only focus on winning Game 6 and not stressing about the need to claim two consecutive victories.

"Our mindset heading down to L.A. is we're trying to win one game," Woodcroft said.

"They're going to try to close us out and the pressure is on them as the home team. For us, our job is to find a way to have a good start to the first period and find a way to win one game."

The Oilers knew once the winning goal was scored in Game 5 that they were facing adversity, and their task became even more difficult on Wednesday when top defenseman Darnell Nurse was handed a one-game suspension for head butting Danault in Game 5.

Nurse, who leads Edmonton in ice time with 21:45 per game, has collected one goal and one assist, along with a plus-5 rating.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Edmonton Oilers
2
1
Los Angeles Kings

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Connor McDavid delivered a goal and two assists in his return to the ice Sunday, helping the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the host Los Angeles Kings.

McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Josh Archibald scored for the Oilers, while Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown had goals for the Kings.

McDavid looked like he hadn't missed a step during his time on the injured list. The 23-year-old center, who missed six games with a quadriceps injury sustained Feb. 8 against the Nashville Predators, logged 19 minutes, 22 seconds of ice time and had six shots on goal along with his three points.

On the power play, McDavid and Draisaitl connected on a give-and-go with Draisaitl potting the goal to put the Oilers on the board 1-0 at the 19:29 mark of the first period. It was Draisaitl's 36th on the season.

Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers up 2-0 at 5:27 if the second period with his 18th. Caleb Jones fired a knuckler from the point and Nugent-Hopkins knocked down the puck to redirect it past Kings goalie Calvin Petersen.

After fanning on a breakaway, McDavid got his goal at 16:14 of the second period on a 2-on-1 with Sam Gagner. McDavid opted to take the shot himself, showing patience to force Petersen into a move and then lifting the puck into the net for his 31st goal.

The Kings finally got on the board late in the second. With Draisaitl in the penalty box for high-sticking, Kopitar jumped on a loose puck in front of Oilers goalie Mike Smith and slammed it into the net on the power play for his 18th of the season.

Brown kicked off the third with a 2-on-1, skating into the Oilers end with Kopitar. Brown took the shot and brought the Kings to within one at the 49-second mark, his 13th.

The Kings couldn't get the tying goal past Smith, though, and the Oilers clinched the win at 19:11 with an empty-netter from Archibald, his 10th. McDavid, with the lead pass, got his second assist of the night.

The Oilers kicked off a three-game mini road trip and now will face the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday before seeing the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

The Kings play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

--Field Level Media

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