Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers: Game 6 Existential Dread Session

Go big or go home. Literally.

Or, you know, game preview.

Edmonton Oilers (3-2) @ Los Angeles Kings (2-3)
Saturday, April 29, 2023 — 7:00 p.m. Pacific
Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles, California

How To Watch
TV: Bally Sports SoCal, TBS
Radio: iHeartRadio / CHED

Team Stats
Los Angeles Kings
Power Play %: 27.8% (6th)
Penalty Kill %: 42.9% (16th)
Goals/Game: 3.20 (8th)
Goals Against/Game: 4.00 (T-13th)

Edmonton Oilers
Power Play %: 57.1% (1st)
Penalty Kill %: 72.2% (11th)
Goals/Game: 4.00 (T-2nd)
Goals Against/Game: 3.20 (9th)

Team Leaders
Los Angeles Kings
Goals: Adrian Kempe (4)
Assists: Anze Kopitar (5)
Points: Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe (7)
PIM: Phil Danault (12)

Edmonton Oilers
Goals: Leon Draisaitl (6)
Assists: Connor McDavid, Evan Bouchard (6)
Points: Leon Draisaitl (10)
PIM: Warren Foegele (10)

This one's for all of the marbles. Or, at least, most of the marbles.

A significant amount of marbles.

I don't think we need to expound on what the Kings need to be better at tonight, if they'd like to prolong their season instead of heading home.

The penalty kill needs to – well, it needs to exist. It needs to not have the vibe of a deer in the headlights every time the Oilers equivalent of Mark Donk skates in with the puck.

In Game 5, a 6-3 loss for the Kings, the Kings took three penalties (not including the 10-minute misconduct handed out to Phil Danault (!) towards the end of the third period). The Oilers scored on two of them.

I don't need to be a math wizard to see that if you subtract those two goals, you get a score of 4-3, which feels much more plausible that the Kings could have made up that gap than the three-goal loss they actually suffered.

Line changes are likely coming – Todd McLellan hit the blender button throughout Game 5, which helped lead to Quinton Byfield's first goal of the series. But line changes aren't going to mean much if McLellan doesn't also adjust strategies. The Oilers have easily figured out how to disrupt the Kings' zone entries, making it hard for the Kings to do much other than dump and chase and hope for the best.

We've already seen some surprise performances in the playoffs – look no further than the Florida Panthers pushing their series against the Boston Bruins to seven games – but it remains to be seen if the Kings are up to the challenge. Game 5, where the Kings largely let the Oilers dictate everything about the game, said that maybe they're not. It'd be great to be proven wrong tonight.