Kings rise from the dead to tie series with Edmonton Oilers


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LOS ANGELES — As far as returning from the grave goes, the Los Angeles Kings opened the coffin lid with a vengeance on Sunday that would have made Jason Voorhees proud.

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Left for dead after being beaten 14-2 in Games 2 and 3, the Kings are back in Edmonton nightmares after a 4-0 win in Game 4 at Arena came straight out of a continued from Friday the 13th.

Instead of putting the series in a 3-1 vise, it’s suddenly the Oilers who feel the icy hand of uncertainty tighten its grip around their necks in what is now a best-of-three toss.

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The Oilers have been saying for three days that it doesn’t matter how badly they beat the Kings in Game 2 and how badly they beat them again in Game 3. Whether they believe it or not, that’s something Only they know, but most people who watch this show haven’t.

But they do now.

The Oilers get a taste of the resilience of an LA team that refused to quit in the regular season when injuries devastated their roster and were certainly not going to cower after a couple of tough losses.

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“It’s not Champions League football where it’s the overall score,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “It doesn’t matter. Your job is to win four games, scores are irrelevant. You just have to find a way to win.

Kings said the same thing in their chambers. Defenseman Alex Edler was part of the Vancouver Canucks team in 2011 and lost Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to the Boston Bruins by a combined score of 12-1. They came home and posted a 1-0 win in Game 5.

Vancouver lost the series in seven games but proved that no matter how bleak things are, there is no momentum in the playoffs.

Now it’s Edmonton’s turn to forget what happened, refocus and win Game 5 at home. Or else things will get really risky.

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“What I love about our team is our ability to get back to the baseline and not get too caught up in the swell,” said Woodcroft, who has no doubts about his team’s ability. to get back. “It was the same after the first game, we weren’t caught by any dip either.”

Defenseman Tyson Barrie remains convinced that Edmonton’s best is enough to win this series, but now that it’s a best-of-three and the Kings are breathing new life, it’s absolutely going to have to be their best.

“These guys are a good team and they’re not going away,” Barrie said, adding they’ve bounced back in this series before and can do it again.

“It’s the same as Game 1 where we didn’t get the result. We keep fighting and playing the style of game we want to play. You can’t dwell on (the last game), you have to keep playing the way you want and putting together 60 minutes of the style of hockey we want.

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“You reset and start over.”

With the Kings at home and it was their last chance to salvage the series, the Oilers knew they would face a storm in the first period. Unfortunately, they weathered it like a canoe in a hurricane and started taking on water from the opening faceoff.

The first 20 minutes weren’t close, with Los Angeles first on every puck and crushing Mike Smith with a relentless rubber barrage. In the final moments of the first period, the Kings were leading 2-0 on goals from Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher, outshooting Edmonton 20-7 and hitting two goal posts.

Without Smith, this one would have been over at the first intermission.

The second period was better, but not by much, as Los Angeles edged Edmonton 14-7 and the Kings still 2-0 with 20 minutes to go.

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The Oilers looked decent, but the offense that came so easily in Games 2 and 3 was gone. Part of it had to do with LA goaltender Jonathan Quick, who was back in Game 1 form, and part of it was Edmonton’s shooters who always seemed inches or half a second too late.

The third period was Edmonton’s turn to push, but their comeback attempt fizzled when Carl Grundstrom made it 3-0 with 4:54 left followed by an empty net.

LATE HITS – Derick Brassard tied for Game 4 when Derek Ryan became a late forfeit. Ryan collided with Los Angeles’ Andreas Athanasiou late in Game 3 and looked a little shaken, but he took morning practice Sunday and looked ready to go… The game’s first power play Edmonton came on five minutes into the second period, but all they did with their chance to change the momentum was give up a shorthanded breakaway… The former light-heavyweight champion of the UFC Chuck Liddell watched the game from ice-level seats just off the Oilers bench.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @Rob_Tychkowski

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