Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers: Game 5 Preview

Instead of thinking about how the Kings could be eliminating the Oilers tonight, we've got to think about what the Kings need to do to steal another road game and take this series back home.

Los Angeles Kings (2-2) @ Edmonton Oilers (2-2)
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 β€” 6:30 p.m. Pacific
Rogers Place – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

How To Watch
Radio: iHeartRadio / CHED

Team Stats
Los Angeles Kings
Power Play %: 29.4% (T-5th)
Penalty Kill %: 45.5% (16th)
Goals/Game: 3.25 (T-6th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.50 (12th)

Edmonton Oilers
Power Play %: 54.6% (1st)
Penalty Kill %: 70.6% (11th)
Goals/Game: 3.50 (5th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.25 (T-8th)

Team Leaders
Los Angeles Kings
Goals: Adrian Kempe (3)
Assists: Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson (4)
Points: Anze Kopitar (6)
PIM: Alex Iafallo, Drew Doughty, Alex Edler (4)

Edmonton Oilers
Goals: Leon Draisaitl (5)
Assists: Evan Bouchard (5)
Points: Leon Draisaitl (9)
PIM: Evander Kane (8)

I don't know about you, but I sure was hoping to be able to approach today's preview with the attitude of "here's what the Los Angeles Kings need to do to eliminate the Edmonton Oilers".

One blown lead later and, well, here we are.

Here's your keys to the game.

Play a full 60 minutes.

It's a cliche, sure, but cliches exist for a reason and this one is particularly true. The Kings have repeatedly had to force comebacks after falling behind early. Slow starts, early domination, whatever it is, it's not great. In game four, the Kings kicked the slow start narrative, only to have an absolutely miserable second period. With Edmonton having the home team advantage in this game, with the benefit of last change, the Oilers are going to look to dictate everything about this game. We need to see a full team, 60 minute effort from the Kings to steal back the series lead.

Play a clean game.

Penalties – soft calls, harsh calls, missed calls – are unfortunately becoming the narrative of this series. While I don't subscribe to the "the league is throwing it in favor of the other team" conspiracy theories – remember, a conspiracy theory requires everyone involved not to talk about their nefarious deeds, and you really think someone could keep quiet about this? – the Kings do need to be aware of the overall flavor of officiating we've seen so far. They need to play clean – no after the whistle stuff, no questionable hits, nothing. They need to stay out of the box, and they need to not give the officials any reason to toss them in there.

Contain Leon Draisaitl.

Leon Draisaitl has been on the ice for all 14 Oilers goals, and he's got points on nine of them. In addition, the Oilers have seven even-strength goals in this series – Draisaitl has three of them.

Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft has been opting to take the nuclear option by putting McDavid and Draisaitl on a line together, which is clearly working out. The Kings have been doing great at shutting down even strength offense from the depth players on the Oilers, for the most part. They've even managed to somewhat contain Connor McDavid – he didn't record his first even strength point in this series until game four. But they have to figure out a way to solve Draisaitl, without sacrificing the good work they've been doing against the other four lines.

Projected Lineups

Los Angeles Kings

No clear line rushes emerged from morning skate. The Kings also have Arthur Kaliyev, Zack MacEwan, Sean Walker, and Tobias Bjornfot available.

Edmonton Oilers

Do we have some gamesmanship going on with the home team? Just maybe.