Nick Bjugstad scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.
The Oilers are one win away from advancing to the second round. Game 6 is Saturday in Los Angeles. Game 7, if necessary, would be Monday in Edmonton.
Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane, Zach Hyman and Brett Kulak also scored for Edmonton. Connor McDavid and defensemen Mattias Ekholm and Darnell Nurse each had two assists.
Hyman’s goal came when Evan Bouchard hit him in the face and the puck deflected past the Kings’ Pheonix Copley for the Oilers’ fifth goal of the game. Hyman stayed in the game.
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Stuart Skinner was back in net for Edmonton after he was traded for Jack Campbell one period after the Oilers’ Game 4 overtime win on Sunday. Skinner, 24, made 25 saves.
«It feels good to be able to go back in there, try to redeem myself,» Skinner said. «But I still think I have a lot to give the team here.»
Kings goalie Joonas Korpisalo was substituted for Copley in the second half after Edmonton’s fourth goal. Korpisalo stopped 15 of 19 shots before giving way to Copley, who made six saves.
Quinton Byfield, Adrian Kempe and Alex Iafallo scored for the Kings.
«We have to try to stay out of the box as much as we can,» Kempe said. «It’s a big factor, and tonight they got two on the power play. We’ve got some things to clean up. Our game in our own zone wasn’t really good early on.»
When the clubs met in the first round last year, the Kings claimed Game 5 to take the series lead to Los Angeles, where the Oilers won back-to-back games. Edmonton now has a chance in this series to close it out on the road.
The Oilers killed their only penalty and scored on two of three power play opportunities Tuesday. Edmonton is 8-for-14 with a man advantage in the series.
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Bjugstad scored his second of the game at 4:26 of the third period. His floating backhand to the net slipped off Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson’s skid and crossed the goal line.
Byfield scored the Kings’ third goal at 6:33, scoring high on Skinner from close range.
Game 4 overtime hero Hyman scored Edmonton’s fifth goal with his face. at 15:47 of the second half, when there were barely 10 seconds left in Kevin Fiala’s trip.
Bjugstad targeted Cody Ceci’s shot from the blue line at 11:49 for a 4-2 lead.
«The fourth really hurt us,» Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. «From there, there was no recovery. That’s not good enough. That doesn’t get you a win in game two of the regular season.»
As they did in the first two games of this series at Rogers Place, the Oilers took an early 2-0 lead and were ahead 3-2 after the first period.
Kempe fired the puck over Skinner at 17:35 to bring the Kings within one goal.
Ryan McLeod threw the puck on ice in front of Korpisalo as Kulak got past Byfield and beat Korpisalo at 14:12.
A minute earlier, Iafallo scored LA’s second of the game, clipping a rebound off of a Kempe spin attempt past Skinner.
Draisaitl made it 2-0 for the Oilers at 10:40 on McDavid’s broadcast from behind the goal line.
Draisaitl was going down when Byfield shoved him, but fired to beat Korpisalo for his NHL-leading sixth playoff goal.
With Carl Grundstrom in the box for hooking McDavid, Kane scored from the far post at 8:08, with just four seconds left on the penalty.
The Kings were without forward Blake Lizotte (lower body) for the third straight game. Edmonton was without forward Mattias Janmark for the fourth game after he blocked a shot with his foot in Game 1.
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The Oilers’ Bouchard extended his point streak to five games (two goals, six assists). It’s the longest playoff scoring streak by an Edmonton blue lineman since Charlie Huddy’s two goals and three assists in four games in 1988. … The Kings’ power play is 5-of-18 in the series .