Wednesday, May 22 2024
Los Angeles Kings left wing Trevor Moore (12) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones.

The Kings clinched a playoff berth more than a week ago. But it wasn’t until the horn sounded Thursday on their last regular-season game that they finally found out who they’ll be playing and where.

The answer to both questions is Edmonton, and for that the Kings have Viktor Arvidsson to thank, with his two goals getting them to overtime in a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Adrian Kempe scored the winning goal six seconds into the extra period, tying the NHL record for fastest overtime tally.

The Kings will play the Oilers in Game 1 on Monday at 7 p.m. PDT (ESPN2).

With the Ducks knocking off the Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Thursday, all the Kings needed to slip past the reigning Stanley Cup champions and claim the third spot in the Pacific Division was one point. And they got that when Arvidsson scored on a power play goal with 1:21 left in their regular season.

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That erased an epic third-period collapse that saw the Kings give up three unanswered goals in a five-minute span early in the third period, turning a two-goal advantage into a 4-3 deficit.

The Kings’ first three goals, all in the second period, came from Arvidsson, Quinton Byfield and Trevor Moore. Phillip Danault picked up assists on all three.

Now the Kings get a rematch with Edmonton, who beat them three times in four games this season and eliminated them in the opening round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. The teams have met nine times in the postseason with the Kings’ last series win coming in 1989, Wayne Gretzky’s first season in Los Angeles.

The Kings will head to Canada riding a wave of momentum, having won 10 of their last 15 regular-season games. But eight of those 10 wins came at home while the Kings have lost three of their last four on the road.

Read more: Analysis: As Kings shift focus to another challenging playoff series, Ducks search for answers

The Blackhawks, despite being outshot 14-4 in the opening period, opened the scoring off a faceoff in the Chicago end. Lukas Reichel took control of the loose puck, broke between Kings defensemen Andres Englund and Jacob Moverare, then slipped a backhander between goaltender Cam Talbot and the right post for this fifth goal of the season less than five minutes before the first intermission.

Arvidsson matched that 4:37 into the second period, one-timing in a pass from Danault from the left circle.

The Blackhawks appeared to go back in front at 12:12 of the period on a short-handed goal from Jason Dickinson. After Arvidsson lost the puck in the Blackhawks’ end, triggering a two-on-one breakaway, Dickinson knocked in the rebound of his own shot. But after a video review, the officials ruled that Dickinson had deflected the puck with his skate and erased the goal.

The Kings needed just four minutes to take advantage, with Byfield putting them ahead on a power-play goal, his 20th of the year. Eighty seconds later Moore made it 3-1.

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Tyler Johnson started the Chicago comeback 1:26 into the third, beating Talbot with a snap shot from the middle of the right circle for his 17th goal. Landon Slaggert set up the game-tying goal, taking the puck from Kings captain Anze Kopitar along the boards and feeding Joey Anderson, who scored his fifth goal of the season on a backhander.

Ryan Donato then put the Blackhawks ahead with a tip-in goal at 6:28.

Arvidsson rescued the Kings, scoring 21 seconds after Philipp Kurashev went to the penalty box for delay of game after knocking the puck over the glass.

Kempe, who earlier in the day was voted the Kings’ most valuable player, then sealed the Kings win in overtime with his 28th goal of the season.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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