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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings

Oilers close out Kings in Game 7 as Connor McDavid shines

May 15, 2022, 5:01 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Connor McDavid scored once and added an assist while goaltender Mike Smith recorded the shutout as the host Edmonton Oilers claimed a 2-0 Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Smith made 29 saves to earn his second shutout of the series and sixth playoff goose egg in his career. Cody Ceci scored the series-winning goal.

Jonathan Quick was outstanding for the Kings while stopping 39 shots, but his teammates couldn't find the offense to win the Western Conference first-round series

Edmonton, which advanced past the opening round for the first time since 2017, will face the winner of the series between the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars, who meet in Game 7 on Sunday.

The Oilers held the bulk of momentum all game, especially in a one-sided second period in which they outshot the visitors 24-11, and several times came agonizingly close to scoring -- including one play when Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou swiped a rolling puck off the goal line after it squeaked past his netminder.

They were finally rewarded at 13:15 of the middle frame when Ceci moved to the right face-off dot for a pass from McDavid and lifted a top-shelf wrist shot for his first goal of the playoffs.

With his assist, McDavid -- by far the most dominating skater on the ice -- is the first Oilers players with 10 helpers in a playoff series since Mark Messier in the 1989 Smythe Division semifinal against the Kings.

McDavid wasn't finished. He sealed the deal with 3:53 remaining when he was denied on a breakaway and a wraparound only to gain the puck again and lift a shot into the cage for his fourth goal of the series and 14th point.

He's the second player in NHL history to record six multi-point games in one series, joining former Boston Bruins star Rick Middleton, who racked up 19 points (5-14-19) in the 1983 division final against the Buffalo Sabres.

McDavid is only the fifth player in NHL history to record four or more goals and 10 or more assists in one playoff series.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings

Report: Oilers' Leon Draisaitl (ankle) a game-time decision

May 14, 2022, 5:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl missed the morning skate with an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision for Saturday night's Game 7 against the visiting Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Draisaitl was in and out of the lineup during Thursday night's 4-2 win in Game 6 after he appeared to turn his right ankle during a first-period scrum with Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson.

"I'm not here to give an injury update," Oilers captain Connor McDavid told Sportsnet on Saturday morning.

Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft declined to comment on Draisaitl's status for the finale of the first-round Western Conference series.

Draisaitl had an assist and was on the ice for 18:25 in Game 6, which was about his average for the series (18:54). He has five goals and three assists in the series.

Draisaitl, 26, matched his career high with 110 points (55 goals, 55 assists) in 80 games in the regular season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings

Oilers ready to face Kings in 'bonkers' Game 7

May 13, 2022, 10:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers have both momentum and home-ice advantage going their way when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in Game 7 of their Western Conference first-round series.

The favored Oilers, who are looking to win a series for the first time since 2017, will not underestimate the mental aspect of the challenge ahead against a team that has managed to claw its way through the matchup.

Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft wants his charges to see the possibilities instead of the pressure.

"It's a great opportunity for us," Woodcroft said. "We've had some really good moments in the series, but for us to get to where we want, we have to ... get our mind right for what the challenge is going to require.

"We have a very clear understanding of who we are. We understand how we have to play to be successful."

Edmonton is 6-4 in all-time Game 7s, with a 3-1 home record. The Kings have a 7-4 mark in Game 7 clashes, including a 5-3 road record.

The Oilers forced the deciding game with Thursday's 4-2 road victory, in which Evander Kane scored twice to give him seven goals in the series. Connor McDavid collected one goal and two assists to give him a league-best 12 points in the playoffs, and Tyson Barrie scored the game-winning goal with five minutes remaining.

"I can't wait," Barrie said. "(Our fans have) been amazing all year, all playoffs and we've seen the crowds and what they're getting up to, so it's going to be bonkers in there. We can't wait to get on the ice for Game 7. It's going to be awesome."

Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse will return to the lineup after he served his one-game suspension for head-butting Phillip Danault in Game 5.

The Kings, who finished five points behind the Oilers in the regular season for third place in the Pacific Division, wasted an opportunity to clinch the series on home ice Thursday. They fell behind early, then erased a 2-0 deficit only to allow a late goal.

Now the quest for Los Angeles is to learn from what transpired.

"The older guys haven't been there in a few years, and we have a few guys that haven't experienced this at all, so it's natural," Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. "But if you told us that we got to win one game to advance, we'd certainly take the opportunity. So, it's not all that bad."

Kopitar is one of only a few players remaining from the Kings' Stanley Cup winning teams of 2012 and '14, and the lesson he wants his teammates to learn is to focus on their first shift and nothing else.

"I think maybe the thought of ending the series kind of creeped into our mind and we started off a little tentative," he said.

Kings coach Todd McLellan recognized his team was the underdog to start the series, but that narrative is out the window now.

"We've had a dress rehearsal," McLellan said. "We have enough experience, guys that have been through this before.

"We like this situation. If somebody said ‘Hey, the L.A. Kings against the Edmonton Oilers, go play for one game,' we're not particularly happy with how we got to it (with Thursday's loss), but we can't do anything about that now, so let's look ahead. We've won there before and we can win there again."

The Kings hoped 20-goal scorer Viktor Arvidsson would suit up at some point in the series, but he's been ruled out due to injury.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Los Angeles Kings

Oilers D Darnell Nurse to have hearing over headbutt

May 11, 2022, 3:04 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse will have a hearing with the NHL on Wednesday for the headbutt he delivered to Los Angeles Kings forward Phillip Danault in Game 5.

The incident occurred with five seconds remaining in the second period of Tuesday night's game, won by the Kings, 5-4 in overtime. The Kings took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Nurse appeared to ram his helmet into the face of Danault, setting off a scrum. No penalties were called on the play.

Nurse, who logged 26 minutes Tuesday night, is in danger of missing Thursday night's Game 6 in Los Angeles.

Nurse recorded 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists) and 54 penalty minutes in 71 games during the regular season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Dallas Stars

Kings F Dustin Brown retiring after postseason

April 28, 2022, 10:36 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown will retire following this season, his 18th with the Kings.

Brown will formally make his announcement during a press conference on Friday.

Brown has played in a franchise-record 1,295 regular-season games entering Thursday night's finale at the Vancouver Canucks. He has scored 712 points -- 325 goals and 387 assists.

The 37-year-old Brown was the captain of two Stanley Cup championship teams (2012, 2014) and has 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists) in 85 postseason contests. He scored 14 of his postseason goals during the two Stanley Cup-winning campaigns and tied for most goals (eight) and points (20) during the 2012 postseason.

Brown scored a career-best 33 goals for the Kings during the 2007-08 season. He topped 20 goals on six other occasions.

Brown has 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in 63 games this season.

The Kings will meet the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Buffalo Sabres

Kings D Drew Doughty (wrist surgery) out for season

April 12, 2022, 2:37 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing wrist surgery.

Doughty, who had the surgery performed on Monday, sustained the injury in the Kings' 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins on March 7. The Kings have lost 10 of their last 16 games (6-7-3) without Doughty in the lineup.

Doughty, 32, averages a team-leading 25:44 of ice time to go along with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in a career-low 39 games this season.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion and former Norris Trophy recipient, Doughty has totaled 567 points (132 goals, 435 assists) in 1,014 career games with the Kings. He was selected by Los Angeles with the second overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Colorado Avalanche

NHL fines Oilers' Evander Kane, Predators' Colton Sisson

April 8, 2022, 6:24 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

NHL Player Safety announced fines Friday for forwards Evander Kane of the Edmonton Oilers and Colton Sissons of the Nashville Predators.

Kane drew a $5,000 fine for kneeing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi at 4:23 of the second period in the Oilers' 3-2 road win Thursday night. It's the maximum allowable fine under the collective bargaining agreement.

Kane, 30, who received a two-minute penalty, has 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) in 33 games this season.

Sissons was fined $2,500 for spearing Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris during the closing seconds of the third period during Nashville's 3-2 road win Thursday night. They were battling for the puck when Sissons appeared to hit Norris in the stomach with his stick.

Sissons, 28, did not draw a penalty. He has 27 points (six goals, 21 assists) in 67 games this season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings

Kings place D Drew Doughty, F Dustin Brown on IR

March 13, 2022, 5:47 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings placed defenseman Drew Doughty and forward Dustin Brown on injured reserve ahead of Sunday's game against the visiting Florida Panthers.

Doughty has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury and his designation is retroactive to Monday.

Brown left the Kings' 5-0 road loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night with an upper-body injury.

In corresponding moves, Los Angeles recalled forwards Martin Frk and Gabe Vilardi and defenseman Austin Strand from the AHL's Ontario Reign.

Doughty, 32, has 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 39 games this season. In his 14th season with the Kings, he has 567 points (132 goals, 435 assists) in 1,014 games.

Brown, 37, has 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 57 games this season. In his 18th season with Los Angeles, he has 709 points (324 goals, 385 assists) in 1,289 games.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers

Sharks acquire G Alex Stalock from Oilers

March 3, 2022, 6:51 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks acquired goaltender Alex Stalock from the Edmonton Oilers for future considerations.

Stalock, 34, last appeared in an NHL game with the Minnesota Wild during the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

He played in five games with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors this season, going 3-1-0 with a 3.81 goals-against average and an .862 save percentage.

The deal was announced Wednesday night, one day after Sharks starting goalie James Reimer sustained a lower-body injury in a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Stalock spent his first five NHL seasons with San Jose, which drafted him in the fourth round in 2005.

He is 61-49-18 with nine shutouts, a 2.61 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 151 career games with the Sharks and Wild.

In September, the Oilers announced that Stalock was expected to miss the 2021-22 season due to a COVID-related heart condition called myocarditis. The Oilers selected Stalock off waivers in March 2021.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Montreal Canadiens

Report: Oilers F Jesse Puljujarvi out 3-4 weeks

February 18, 2022, 7:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi could be out 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, TSN reported Friday.

He was hurt during Thursday night's 7-3 defeat of the Anaheim Ducks, leaving the bench shortly after scoring his 12th goal of the season at 7:26 of the second period.

Puljujarvi, 23, has a career-high 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) through 46 games this season.

He has 90 points (44 goals, 46 assists) in 240 games with the Oilers since they drafted him fourth overall in 2016.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Ottawa Senators

Oilers G Mikko Koskinen exits COVID-19 protocol

February 17, 2022, 12:49 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen was removed from the NHL's COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday.

Koskinen had been in the protocol since Feb. 7, the same day fellow goaltender Mike Smith was activated from injured reserve.

Koskinen, 33, carried most of the goaltending load this season while Smith was sidelined. Koskinen owns a 16-8-2 record with a 3.15 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 26 appearances (25 starts) this season.

Also on Wednesday, the Oilers loaned goaltender Stuart Skinner to Bakersfield of the American Hockey League.

Skinner, 23, notched his first career NHL shutout on Monday following a 20-save performance in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.

He owns a 6-6-0 record with a shutout, 2.62 GAA and .913 save percentage in 13 appearances this season.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Seattle Kraken

Report: Oilers fire coach Dave Tippett

February 10, 2022, 4:34 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers have fired head coach Dave Tippett and associate head coach Jim Playfair, TSN reported Thursday.

Jay Woodcroft, head coach of Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate in Bakersfield, and his top assistant Dave Manson are taking over on an interim basis, per the report.

Tippett, 60, was in his third season as Oilers coach and had a 95-62-14 record. However, the Oilers have struggled mightily since a scorching 9-1-0 start to the season. Edmonton is 7-16-0 since Dec. 1.

It's the first time Oilers general manager Ken Holland has fired a coach in midseason.

The Oilers fell to 23-18-3 after a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. They lost the past two games by a combined score of 8-1. The Oilers have lost three of four after posting a four-game winning streak.

Edmonton sits in fifth place in the Pacific Division, five points behind provincial-rival Calgary for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Tippett came to Edmonton in 2019 after eight years as the head coach of the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes. He also was head coach of the Dallas Stars for six seasons. He has a career regular-season record of 648-475-134 with 28 ties. His career postseason mark is 34-48.

Tippett took Edmonton to the playoffs his first two seasons.

Woodcroft, 45, previously worked as an assistant with the Oilers under Todd McLellan. He was named the head coach of the Condors in 2018.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs

Oilers activate G Mike Smith, place Mikko Koskinen in COVID protocol

February 8, 2022, 4:07 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers activated goaltender Mike Smith from injured reserve on Monday and placed goalie Mikko Koskinen in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol after announcing that the latter tested positive for the virus.

Smith, who was in the starter's net for Edmonton's first practice after the All-Star break, hasn't played since Jan. 5 because of a partially torn thumb tendon. He spent more than two months on injured reserve earlier in the season with a lower-body injury, then played three games before injuring his thumb.

Smith, who turns 40 on March 22, is 2-2-1 this season with a 3.76 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage.

"We'd like to see him stay healthy, without a question," coach Dave Tippett said. "That's a big factor for it, but he's ready to go. He was ready last week and we decided to give him the break to get through it. He had a good practice (Monday), and he will be ready to go."

Koskinen carried most of the goaltending load this season while Smith was sidelined. He is 16-8-2 with a 3.15 GAA and a .900 save percentage, but he is 4-0-1 in his past five starts.

The Oilers are 23-16-3, fifth in the Pacific Division, as they prepare to resume play after the break with home games against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday and the New York Islanders on Friday.

--Field Level Media

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks

Reports: Oilers to sign Evander Kane after NHL investigation

January 27, 2022, 10:53 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Evander Kane, the embattled NHL veteran whose contract with the San Jose Sharks was terminated earlier this month, is set to sign with the Edmonton Oilers, multiple reports said Thursday.

The deal would be for one year and the veteran minimum of $750,000, with a signing bonus and a full no-movement clause, Sportsnet reported.

The signing hinged on the results of an investigation into an alleged breach of COVID-19 protocol that marked the final straw for Kane's tenure in San Jose. That investigation concluded without sufficient evidence to discipline Kane any further, the league announced Thursday evening.

The NHL previously suspended Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake vaccination card and the Sharks assigned him to their American Hockey League affiliate. Then, Kane reportedly traveled from California to his home in Vancouver in December after he tested positive for COVID, in violation of the AHL's protocol.

The Sharks placed him on waivers and terminated his contract once he cleared. The players' association filed a grievance over the move while the NHL conducted a probe into the situation.

An investigation by a New York law firm found there wasn't enough evidence to "conclusively find that Mr. Kane knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel," the league said in a statement Thursday.

Previously, Kane was investigated by the NHL for allegations made by his estranged wife, Anna Kane, which included domestic violence and betting on NHL games. Evander Kane has admitted to a gambling problem but denied those particular accusations, and the NHL did not find evidence to support either claim.

Kane is eligible to play as soon as he signs. The Washington Capitals were also interested in Kane, Sportsnet reported.

A winger, Kane tallied 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in 56 games last season. In a 12-year NHL career spent with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise (2009-15), the Buffalo Sabres (2015-18) and San Jose, Kane has scored 264 goals and added 242 assists over 769 games.

He would be joining an Oilers team that features the past two Hart Trophy winners, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and trying to help an underperforming squad that was in sixth place in the Pacific Division entering Thursday.

"If he's a part of our team it's going to be exciting to have a player like that I would say," Oilers forward Zach Hyman told reporters about the Kane rumors. "He'll be a part of our team if he's a part of our team."

--Field Level Media

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Dallas Stars

NHL fines Phillip Danault, Jonathan Drouin $5K each

January 19, 2022, 6:42 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The NHL levied $5,000 fines against Montreal's Jonathan Drouin and Phillip Danault of the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, the maximum fine allowed under the CBA.

Danault was fined for a dangerous trip on Tampa Bay's Brayden Point. Drouin incurred his penalty for cross-checking Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.

Drouin received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the cross-check to Seguin's head/neck area in Tuesday night's game, won by the Habs. Drouin tallied an assist before being ejected. He has 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) on the season.

Danault was fined for his trip in the Kings' loss to the Lightning, also Tuesday night. He has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 38 games this season.

--Field Level Media