If a picture is worth a thousand words, Evander Kane putting seven fingers in the air after scoring an empty-net goal on Thursday night said a lot about the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers fought off elimination and forced a deciding game.
Kane’s second goal late in the third period capped the Oilers’ 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round series.
Saturday night’s winner-take-all game will be held in Edmonton. Kane feels optimistic about his side’s chances in a series in which the road team has won four times.
“It’s going to be juicy,” Kane, who also got an assist, said of the environment he anticipates up north.
Tyson Barrie scored the game-winning goal, and Connor McDavid contributed two goals and an assist.
Kane has seven goals in the series, tying him with Kirill Kaprizov of Minnesota and Jake Guentzel of Pittsburgh for the league lead. He is the seventh Edmonton player to score seven goals or more in a series and the first since Esa Tikkanen in 1991.
At 1:50 of the second period, Kane redirected Brett Kulak’s point shot past Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead. The left-wing added an empty-net goal with one minute remaining and flashed the audience seven fingers.
BOXSCORE: Oilers 4, Kings 2
Kane’s way of retaliating after Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe cupped his hand to one of his ears after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime Tuesday night in Edmonton.
“He must not have appreciated the post-game party in our building. Evander, I believe, plays with emotion and is looking forward to the next game, “According to Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft.
The game tied at 2
After receiving a feed from Leon Draisaitl, Barrie broke a 19-game playoff goal drought at 14:50 of the third period with a snapshot inside the far post.
“Yeah, just kind of saw the puck turn over, I think, and we’re heading the other way, and for whatever reason, there was a big gap between Leon and me, and I just saw that I could jump in and kind of make it an odd-man (rush),” said Barrie, whose last postseason goal came with the Colorado Avalanche in 2019. “He created a beautiful little sauce for me and got lucky enough to beat Quick there. He’s been playing so well and so far out. So it was great to see that one go in.”
Schedule and locations for the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs
Even though the Oilers blew a two-goal lead, Kane noted plenty of optimism as the third period continued.
“I believe we were saying the right things. I was mentioning how in good shape we were, “He stated. “In the third period of Game 6, the score is 2-2. I liked our scoring chances a lot.”
McDavid scores on a wraparound.
McDavid, who has three goals and 12 points in the series, scored his third goal on a wraparound 1:40 into the game. It was the third-fastest goal scored by an Edmonton player when facing elimination.
For the Oilers, Cody Ceci had two assists, and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots in the decisive game Saturday night in Edmonton.
Los Angeles, aiming to win its first series since upsetting the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, got goals from Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom. Quick came up with 33 saves.
“Just critical goals and I thought we had a decent opportunity there at the end,” defenseman Matt Roy said of the game’s difference. “We simply had a minor breakdown that led to their third goal, so we just need to avoid that in the future.”
Rookie defenseman Durzi scored Los Angeles’ first postseason goal at 13:59 of the second period on the power play, a one-timer from the center point.
Grundstrom equalized 29 seconds into the third period with a slap shot over Smith’s blocker after receiving the feed from Roy.
“It didn’t bother us too much,” Anze Kopitar, the center, said of the early deficit. “We knew we had to score on the power play at some point, so it was significant. And then, of course, tie it up early in the third. I couldn’t get it across the finish line.”
The Oilers have a 6-4 record in Game 7s, with a 3-1 mark at home. The Kings are 7-4 overall and 5-3 on the road.