Danault scores late, Kings beat Oilers 4-3 in series opener

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Phillip Danault capitalized after a miscue by Edmonton goalie Mike Smith and scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-3 win over the Oilers on Monday night in Game 1 of the teams’ opening-round playoff series.

Smith tried to clear the puck from behind his net and instead put it on the stick of a Kings player in front. Smith made a diving save, but couldn’t corral the puck. Seconds later, Danault scored at 14:46 of the third.

Trevor Moore and Alex Iafallo each had a goal and assist for the Kings. Brandon Lemieux also scored.

Connor McDavid and Kailier Yamamoto each had a goal and assist for Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick made 35 saves. Mike Smith stopped 31 of 35 shots for Edmonton.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Edmonton. The series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday.

Edmonton is in the playoffs for the third straight season, but last year’s run was brief, with the Winnipeg Jets ousting the Oilers in the first round with a four-game sweep.

Moore opened the scoring 11 minutes into Monday’s game, ripping a shot from inside the circle over Smith’s outstretched glove.

He then set Iafallo up to give the Kings a 2-0 lead 16:52 into the first. Stationed below the goal line, Moore sent Iafallo a behind-the-back pass, and Iafallo wasted no time putting it into the Oilers’ net.

Edmonton cut the deficit before the end of the opening period with another highlight-reel worthy goal from McDavid.

The Oilers’ captain sprinted the length of the ice, holding off several Kings defenders, and fired a shot past Quick to make it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first.

Chants of “MVP! MVP! ” followed from the boisterous crowd. McDavid won his fourth Art Ross Trophy this season after posting a league-best 123 points.

The Oilers evened the score early in the second with a power-play goal after Iafallo was called for tripping.

Duncan Keith fired a long-range shot and Yamamoto tipped it in 2:39 into the period.

Lemieux sent a shot sailing from the top of the faceoff circle off a rush 3:50 into the second to restore the Kings’ lead.

Edmonton tied the game again midway through the period on another power-play goal after Iafallo was called for cross-checking.

McDavid sent a pass ricocheting off a broken stick in the slot before Draisaitl settled it and sent a quick shot past Quick 9:56 into the second.

Edmonton went 2 for 4 with the man advantage. The Kings were 0 for 4.

NOTES: Defenseman Darnell Nurse returned to the Oilers’ lineup after missing four games with a knee injury. … The Kings were playing without Viktor Arvidsson, who left practice early on Saturday. The winger had 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games this season. … Monday marked the first playoff game between the Oilers and Kings since 1992, when Edmonton bested Los Angeles in a six-game series in the division semifinals.

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