Evander Kane scored twice and the visiting Edmonton Oilers kept their season alive with a 4-2 win over the L.A. Kings in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday.
The victory evened the best-of-seven series at 3-3 with Game 7 set for Saturday in Edmonton.
Connor McDavid had a three-point night with a goal and two assists, while Tyson Barrie scored and Kane added an assist.
Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom replied for the Kings.
Mike Smith stopped 30 of 32 shots for Edmonton and L.A.’s Jonathan Quick made 33 saves.
The Oilers took a 2-0 lead early in the second but the Kings clawed their way back to start the third.
Kane put away the empty-net strike with 59.9 seconds left in the game.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 13, 2022
The Kings got a prime opportunity to tie the game yet again with less than four minutes left on the clock when Edmonton’s Kailer Yamamoto was called for kneeing.
Barrie fired a shot through traffic from just inside the blue line to make it 3-2 at the 14:50 mark of the third. The goal was his first of the playoffs.
L.A. equalized 29 seconds into the third with Grundstrom whipping a snap shot past Smith from the hash marks for his third goal of the playoffs to make it 2-2.
The Kings cut into the Oilers’ lead with a power-play goal 13:59 into the second after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was called for cross-checking.
Durzi launched a rocket through the point with the puck sailing through traffic and under Smith’s glove.
The goal marked just the third time L.A. has scored on the man advantage in the series. The Kings were 1 for 4 on the power play Thursday and the Oilers went 0 for 1.
Edmonton briefly appeared to take a 3-0 lead early in the second period when Kane sent a rebound into the net over Quick, sprawled on his back in the crease.
Officials on the ice quickly waived the goal off due to goaltender interference because Zach Hyman made contact with the Kings netminder moments before he fell and the Oilers opted not to challenge the ruling.
There was no doubt when Kane scored less than two minutes earlier, though.
Edmonton’s Brett Kulak wound up and fired a blast from inside the blue line and Kane tipped in a rebound to make it 2-0 with his sixth goal of the playoffs.
Draisaitl appeared to suffer an ankle injury midway through the first when a scrum erupted in front of the L.A. net and the star sniper was pulled to the ice backward by Kings defenceman Mikey Anderson.
Draisaitl headed to the dressing room, limping, but returned to the Oilers’ bench minutes later and took one more shift in the period. He was out on the ice to start the second.
After a series of slow starts, the Oilers were quick to get on the scoreboard Thursday.
McDavid powered around the net and slipped a wraparound shot between Quick’s pads at the 1:40 mark for his third goal of the playoffs.
Earlier Thursday, it was announced that McDavid is one of three finalists for this year’s Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s most valuable player. The Oilers’ captain has won the award twice before, including last season.
NOTES: Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse was out serving a one-game suspension for head-butting Phillip Danault in Game 5 … Edmonton’s rookie blue-liner Philip Broberg made his NHL playoff debut.
Lightning 4, Leafs 3 (OT)
In Tampa, Brayden Point scored at 18:04 of overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Thursday to force a seventh and deciding game in their first-round playoff series.
The winger buried the winner on a rebound between the legs of Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell after Alex Killorn took the initial shot.
Ondrej Palat, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov had the other goals for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, who improved to an eye-popping 17-0 following a post-season loss since 2020.
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots. Point also had an assist for a two-point night.
John Tavares, with two, and Auston Matthews replied for Toronto, which hasn’t moved onto the second round since 2004 and is now 0-8 in elimination games over the last five playoffs.
Campbell made 31 saves. William Nylander added two assists.
The Leafs will now head home for Saturday’s Game 7 desperately looking to exorcise the demons of past spring failures with the weight of history and expectation hanging around their collective neck.
Toronto is 7-2 all-time at home in Game 7s, but lost at Scotiabank Arena last season after blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Montreal Canadiens.
Vasilevskiy has won each and every one of the contests that make up Tampa’s 17-0 record after a loss in the last three playoffs, putting up a .945 save percentage with five shutouts in 16 victories before Thursday.
THE CANADIAN PRESS