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Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers complete first-round comeback, knock out Los Angeles Kings in Game 7


The Edmonton Oilers knocked out the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 at home on Saturday 2-0 as star Connor McDavid scored and assisted the game winner.

McDavid got the main assist on defenseman Cody Ceci’s goal in the second period and scored his own insurance goal late in the third period at the end of this first-round series. With 14 points, McDavid is now the playoff leading scorer.

“He’s the best player in the world. He’s shown that in the last two games,” star teammate Leon Draisaitl said of McDavid after the game. “It’s not skill…I mean, there’s obviously a lot of skill with him, that’s for sure. It’s willpower. You can see it in his eyes. You can feel it with every shift that he’s there. He’s determined. There was just no way he, or we, were going to be turned down. He led the way. He was amazing.

Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith made 28 saves for the shutout victory as the Oilers capped the series comeback with straight wins after leading Los Angeles 3-2.

The last time the Oilers made it past the first round was in 2017, the only time McDavid appeared in the second round.

“In order to get where you want to go, you have to go through times like this,” Oilers interim coach Jay Woodcroft said Saturday before the game.

Edmonton will face the winner of the other Western Conference Game 7, between the Dallas Stars and the Calgary Flames, on Sunday night, with a potential “Battle of Alberta” pending in the second round if the Flames are victorious. . The provincial rivals last met in the playoffs in 1991.

The Oilers victory came against a stellar performance by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who made 39 saves in the loss. The Kings haven’t made it past the first round since winning the Stanley Cup in 2014.

Meanwhile, 40-year-old Edmonton goaltender Smith recorded his sixth career playoff shutout, behind an Edmonton defensive effort that kept the Kings’ offense benign all game. He previously shut out the Kings in Edmonton’s 6-0 Game 2 win.

“We talked about playing our best game tonight,” Smith told SportsCenter. “We did. They obviously made it easier for me to work there.”

After a scoreless first period, the Oilers started to carry the game into the second period and peppered Quick with shots. One of them caught him midway through the second period, but Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou prevented him from scoring by sweeping the slowly rolling puck under Quick.

The McDavid line scored the first goal of the game. McDavid and Draisaitl pedaled into the Kings defensive zone until McDavid found Ceci in the right circle for a blast past Quick. It was Ceci’s second playoff goal in 43 games. Edmonton was up 1-0 at 1:15 of the second period on its 23rd shot against the Kings goaltender in the game. Edmonton would end up with 25 shots on goal in the second period alone, with Quick snatching all but one.

It would remain 1-0 until McDavid struck with 3:53 left in regulation. He skated on Quick only to get snagged by Kings defenseman Sean Durzi. As the referees signaled a delayed penalty, Durzi stopped play to express his disagreement with the call. McDavid continued to play and scored on Quick after collecting the rebound from his own shot attempt.

McDavid was brilliant on a night when fellow star striker Draisaitl wasn’t 100%. He was considered a game-time decision due to an ankle injury, but played 22:38 and got the secondary pass on Ceci’s goal. Draisaitl said with a smile after the match that he was “fine”.

The Kings have had their own injury issues on the series. Forward Viktor Arvidsson, their fourth-leading scorer, missed the entire series with a lower-body injury. Star defenseman Drew Doughty also missed the series, after undergoing wrist surgery in March.

It was the last game for Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown, a former Kings captain, who is retiring.

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