Phillip Danault scored 14:46 into the third period and the Los Angeles Kings held off the Edmonton Oilers for a 4-3 win in Game 1 of their first-round playoff Monday.
Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo each scored and had an assist for LA, and Brandon Lemieux contributed a goal.
Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto replied with a goal and an assist each, and Leon Draisaitl completed the scoring with a power play count.
LA goaltender Jonathan Quick made 35 saves for the win and Mike Smith stopped 31 of 35 shots for Edmonton.
The Oilers finished the regular season ranked second in the Pacific Division with a 49-27-6 record to gain home ice advantage and fans responded by filling Rogers Place with a sold-out crowd for the opening game.
Edmonton is in the playoffs for the third straight season, but last year’s run was brief as the Winnipeg Jets ousted the Oilers in the first round with a four-game sweep.
Moore opened the scoring 11 minutes into Monday’s game, firing a shot from inside the face-off circle over Smith’s outstretched glove.
He then set up Iafallo to give LA a 2-0 lead at 16:52 of the first. Positioned below the goal line, Moore sent Iafallo a pass in the back and Iafallo wasted no time putting it in the Oilers net.
Edmonton cut the deficit before the end of the first period with another highlight-reel goal from McDavid.
The Oilers captain sprinted the length of the ice, fending off several Kings defenders, and fired an instant shot past Quick to make it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first.
Vocals from “MVP! MVP!” followed by the noisy crowd. McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy this season after posting a league-best 123 points.
The Oilers tied the game early in the second with a scorer on the power play after Iafallo was called for tripping.
Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot and Yamamoto tipped him over from the back door 2:39 into the period.
The score did not stay long at 2-2. Lemieux sent a navigating shot from the top of the face-off circle after a 3:50 run into the second to restore the Kings’ lead.
Edmonton equalized again midway through the period with another power-play goal after Iafallo was called for cross-checking.
McDavid sent a flying pass from the boards with the puck ricocheting off a broken stick in the slot before Draisaitl cleared it and fired a quick shot past Quick 9:56 into the second.
Edmonton went 2 for 4 with the man advantage on Monday and LA was 0 for 4.
The Kings took the lead for one final time 14:46 after Danault found space between Smith and his post.
Moments earlier, the goaltender attempted to clear the puck from behind the net and instead put it on the stick of a Los Angeles player in front. Smith made a diving save but couldn’t get the puck back and seconds later a long bomb went over his shoulder.
Game 2 is Wednesday in Edmonton. The series moves to LA for Game 3 on Friday.
NOTES: Defenseman Darnell Nurse returned to the Oilers roster after missing four games with a knee injury. … The Kings were without Viktor Arvidsson, who left practice early Saturday. The winger has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games this season. … Monday marked the first playoff game between the Oilers and Kings since 1992, when Edmonton beat LA in a six-game divisional semifinal series.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 2, 2022.