EDMONTON, AB – Los Angeles: Eliminated.

The Edmonton Oilers secured their place in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 at Rogers Place, winning the series four games to one and ending LA's season with a first-round exit for the third consecutive year.

"I think we were probably a better team this year than the last year or the year before," Leon Draisaitl said. "We're more mature, which plays a big part sometimes, but that's a really good team over there. They make it hard on you. It's an absolute grind against them every night, and hats off to the way that they compete and play the game.

"But that being said, we did a really good job of getting our minds ready for that and just mentally being ready for the challenge."

The Oilers advance to the second round with a 4-3 win in Game 5

Draisaitl scored twice in the victory – once on the power play and again when another man advantage expired – as part of a three-goal second period for the Oilers where they turned a 2-1 deficit early in the frame into a 4-2 advantage heading into the final period.

Evan Bouchard recorded assists on all three of Edmonton's second-period goals to record a three-point night, while Connor McDavid contributed two helpers along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Zach Hyman scored his seventh goal of the postseason – also after a power play expired – for the Oilers' final tally of their three-goal middle frame after Evander Kane opened the scoring in the first period.

The Oilers defended their lead in the final frame despite a late challenge from the Kings through Adrian Kempe's redirection with 2:18 left in regulation, but a hooking penalty by Phillip Danault on Draisaitl with 20 seconds remaining allowed the Blue & Orange to see out their series victory and move on to Round 2.

"I thought we played hard and I thought we played pretty responsibly defensively, especially in the third period," Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. "I know they got a goal at the end, but overall, I thought we did a really good job managing our lead. And then the power play pretty much [scored] three goals that were the difference in the game."

Edmonton's special teams were a major factor in the series, finishing 9-for-19 on the power play and a perfect 12-for-12 on the penalty kill to help dispatch Los Angeles comfortably and send them to the second round, where they'll face either the Vancouver Canucks or the Nashville Predators.

Paige & Cam analyze the Oilers first-round win over the Kings


The Kings' came out with the better first 10 minutes to Game 5 on Wednesday night, which made it a natural turning point for the Oilers at the halfway mark of the frame when they began playing the better hockey of the two sides.

Edmonton was outshot 7-1 and out-possessed in the opening half of the period by the Kings, but they looked firmly like the team that was more likely to score over the next 10 minutes after doing a lot of what they did positively in their narrow 1-0 victory in Game 4 – blocking shots, forcing the Kings to the perimeter and doing a solid job taking away the passing lanes.

"That's a huge credit to the guys in front of me," Skinner said. "I think even when they did get a little bit more zone time, we were just blocking absolutely every shot and being able to get pucks out and then getting on the rush, getting on the forecheck and hemming them down in the zone. I think that was a big key."

Skinner made a save on Trevor Moore right at the halfway mark of the first, resulting in a defensive-zone faceoff in the Oilers' zone that would lead directly to taking a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds later off another post-season contribution from Evander Kane.

Kane redirects a pass from Kulak & beats Rittich to make it 1-0

Desharnais used the shaft of his stick to break up an attempted pass from Kempe to Kopitar before he pushed the puck to Nugent-Hopkins to begin a break-breakout, finding Kane on the far side to begin flying the zone with support. The winger had Brett Kulak ahead of him and played a quick pass in the neutral zone to the defenceman, who crossed the blueline and gave it back to him for a low backhander that snuck through Rittich and trickled over the line.

Kane continues to prove that he's built for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording a Gordie Howe hat trick in Game 3 and picking up another goal to make it 18 in 32 playoff games in an Oilers uniform, tying him with five others for the fourth-most goals amongst all NHLers in that span.

Edmonton nearly made it to the intermission with their one-goal lead intact before a bad break arrived off a routine dump-in from Vladislav Gavrikov, who saw his rimmed puck into the Oilers' zone strike a stanchion and pop out in front for Alex Laferriere.

The Kings' winger eluded the outstretched sticks of Skinner and Desharnais to score the equalizing goal with 28 seconds on the clock in the opening period, giving the Oilers netminder flashbacks to last year's clinching game in Los Angeles when his stick broke in half to give Phillip Danault the tying goal in a crucial Game 6.

"I think just the timing was really hard because there wasn't much time left in the first period after that, so we had to sit on it for a bit," Skinner said. "But I think our response was absolutely massive. Getting bounces like that, it's just kind of just what happens. You can't do too much about it, and once it does, it's about how you respond.

"I think as a group, we did a really good job."

Stuart speaks to the media after Wednesday's first-round series win


It was 'so close, yet so far away' for the Kings during the second period as they watched the Oilers place one skate into the second round with a power-play tally and two more goals that came right as the man advantage had expired.

As if their incredible power play could have an even bigger impact on this series.

The frame started opposite of how the Oilers had hoped when the Kings took the lead on a Blake Lizotte shot over the right pad of Stuart Skinner just 3:06 past the restart of play. Darnell Nurse got drawn in by Viktor Arvidsson on a pinch before the Swede sauced it to Lizotte to score the go-ahead goal for the Kings and provide them a lead for only the third time in the series – not counting their overtime-winner in Game 1.

But the Oilers picked up their pace and began to draw the Kings into penalties, beginning with Gavrikov hooking McDavid three-and-a-half minutes later to produce the power play that led to Draisaitl's equalizer, which arrived late from an official's review after Rittich looked to have made a jaw-dropping save.

McDavid & Draisaitl connect on a magical man-advantage marker

"I didn't love our first half of the game," McDavid said. "I thought we were a little bit slow for whatever reason, but I thought we had a great response. We found ways to draw penalties. I think they weren't very happy with some of the calls, but I think they're all penalties."

The Oilers' power play worked one of their masterful set plays to open up the shooting lane for Draisaitl in the right circle, calling on the Kings' netminder to reach out and grab the German's effort with a wild glove save along the goal line. The German was motioning to his bench as he skated back that he thought the puck crossed the line, and ultimately, an official review from the referees would confirm his goal to even the score at 2-2 with over 12 minutes left in the middle frame.

With their second-period PPG, the Oilers improved to 9-for-19 (47.4 percent) in the five games of the series and 25-for-54 (46.3 percent) against the Kings over their last three playoff meetings. With two more converted penalty kills as well, the Oilers have also killed off 46 of the last 56 penalties they've taken against the Kings since the start of their 2022 Playoffs.

"Especially at this time of the year, teams' power plays against you are so lethal and they're top players. The more power play touches that they get, the better they're going to feel throughout the game," Nurse said. "So I think our discipline was a huge factor, especially in these last two games. And that's just got to continue here for us to have success."

Connor speaks to the media after the series victory vs. the Kings

The Oilers would get two more power plays in the period, and while they might not be given full credit for Edmonton's next two goals before the second intermission, they were able to finish them off anyway in the seconds that followed.

McDavid wheeled his way around the Kings' net and found Draisaitl in the right circle to set up his teammate's second goal of the game just three seconds after Pierre-Luc Dubois exited the box for a holding penalty on the German, compounding the Kings' forward's already-frustrating season.

Draisaitl's fourth and fifth goals of the postseason in the second period came off assists from McDavid to make it nine career points (4G, 5A) in six potential series-clinching games for the German, and 15 total playoff power-play goals. The Dynamic Duo now have five-game playoff point streaks, with each half recording three multi-point efforts in that span.

Close to seven minutes later, it would be Drew Doughty's turn to come out of the penalty box and watch the Oilers add another to their total when Bouchard's point shot struck the right post and danced along the goal line behind Rittich before it was put over the line by Hyman for his seventh goal of the postseason that ties Colorado's Valeri Nichushkin for the playoff scoring lead.

Hyman taps home a loose puck in the crease to make it 4-2


The Oilers had 20 more miles to see out their place in the second round during the final frame, and they were ready to put in the defensive work that was required.

Edmonton slowed the game down to the pace they would've wanted by using the forecheck to win the puck down low in the Kings' zone and keep possession to limit their chances, doing an effective job by keeping their shots to only six over the final 20 minutes.

The situation got a lot more interesting when Matt Roy's shot-pass into the slot was redirected by Adrian Kempe through traffic and behind Skinner, cutting Edmonton's lead to 4-3 with 2:18 remaining in regulation.

Los Angeles would inevitably pull Rittich for the extra attacker when they established offensive-zone possession, getting a partial six-on-four when Derek Ryan's stick broke, but the veteran centre still made an important defensive play by delivering a hit and helping Leon Draisaitl Edmonton's zone with the puck.

Leon & Ryan talk following Wednesday's series-clinching win

"We've got lots of depth," McDavid said. Even the guys who didn't play in the series are more than capable of stepping up and stepping into big roles and important assignments. We've got lots of depth and that's a good sign."

Despite LA's steady pressure trying to keep their season alive, Draisaitl would have the puck on his stick and charge towards the empty LA net in an attempt to ice the game, but accomplished the same thing – albeit in a different way – by being hooked down by Danault with 20 seconds remaining.

"Winning big draws out there at big moments, winning a big battle there at the end of the game to not only get the puck out but draw a penalty – those are huge things," McDavid said of Draisaitl. "He's a big man, and when he's got his feet moving and he's playing hard on both sides of the puck, there's not many guys better than him in the whole world. It's impressive to watch, and he always seems to bring that game.

The Oilers would win possession off the next faceoff and do enough to secure the 4-3 victory in Game 5 and their place in the second round.

Kris speaks to the media after the Oilers eliminated the Kings