Danault scores late goal, Kings defeat Oilers 4-3 in Game 1

The Los Angeles Kings beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Monday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series, thanks to a goal by Phillip Danault at 14:46 of the third period.

All three of the Kings’ goals were scored by Alex Iafallo, while Trevor Moore also added an assist. Brandon Lemieux scored as well. There were two goals and an assist from Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto, both for Edmonton. The game power play goal came from Leon Draisaitl. Jonathan Quick of the Kings made 35 saves, and Edmonton’s Mike Smith completed 31 of 35 saves.

Both Kings and Oilers will face each other in Game 2 on Wednesday, May 5, in Edmonton, while Game 3 will be held in Los Angeles on Friday.

Game takeaways

Even though Edmonton is in the playoffs for the third year in a row, the Oilers’ run was cut short by the Winnipeg Jets. They eliminated them in the first round with a four-game sweep.

A shot from inside the circle that deflected off Smith’s outstretched glove gave Moore his first goal 11 minutes into Monday’s game. He then set up Iafallo to score the game’s second goal at 16:52. Moore, stationed below the goal line, sent a behind-the-back pass to Iafallo, who buried it in the Oilers’ net without delay to give the Kings a 2-0 lead.

McDavid scored another highlight-reel goal for Edmonton before the end of the first period to bring the team within one goal of the lead. With 42 seconds left in the first period, the Oilers’ captain sprinted the length of the ice, holding off several Kings defenders, and fired a shot past Quick to make it 2-1.

A chorus of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” rang out from the huge crowd along with the game. McDavid earned his fourth Art Ross Trophy after posting a league-best 123 points.

After Iafallo was called for tripping, the Oilers evened the score early in the second period with a power-play goal. Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot, and Yamamoto tipped it in at 2:39 of the second period. 3:50 into the second period, Lemieux sent a shot sailing from the top of the faceoff circle off a rush to restore the Kings’ lead.

After Iafallo was called for cross-checking, Edmonton scored another power-play goal midway through the period to tie the game once more. 9:56 into the second period, McDavid sent a pass ricocheting off a broken stick in the slot before Draisaitl settled it and fired a quick shot past Quick.

Edmonton went 2 for 4 and 0 for 4 for the Kings with the man advantage.

14:46 into the third period, Danault found space between Smith and the goal post to give the Kings a one-goal lead for the final time.

Just a few moments before, Smith attempted to clear the puck from behind the net but instead placed it on the stick of a Los Angeles Kings player in front of him. Smith made a diving save but could not keep the puck in his possession. A long bomb was launched over his shoulder a few seconds later.