Frustrated Kings have no answer for high-scoring Oilers in Game 3 blowout loss

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Zach Hyman, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid were three of the most dangerous scorers during the NHL regular season, combining for 127 goals and 315 points for the Edmonton Oilers. Stopping one of them is a challenge, stopping all three is pretty much impossible.

The Kings certainly haven’t found a way to do it, with Hyman, Draisaitl and McDavid combining for five goals and three assists Friday in a 6-1 Oilers win in Game 3 of their Western Conference playoff series that gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup the trio have dominated.

The loss was just the fifth in the Kings’ last 19 games at Arena, but it might prove to be the most costly since it swung the momentum of the series back to Edmonton and neutralized home-ice advantage should the series go seven games.

The way Hyman, Draisaitl and McDavid have been playing, that seems unlikely.

The trio has combined for 10 goals and 13 assists in the series. Three of the goals came in the first period Friday, burying the Kings in a hole they could never climb out of.

Hyman scored less than seven minutes into the game after a giveaway by defensemen Drew Doughty made it possible. After a faceoff, Edmonton’s Mattias Ekholm jumped on a lazy backhand pass from Doughty near the Kings’ blueline, then fed Hyman alone in the slot.

The Oilers’ forward took a couple of whacks at the puck, with Kings goalie Cam Talbot stopping both tries, before Hyman finally stuffed it inside the post on Talbot’s stick side for his league-leading fifth goal of the playoffs.

Hyman has scored in all three games in the series.

Draisaitl doubled the lead late in the first period, gathering a pass that Evander Kane bounced off the side of the Kings’ net, then beating Talbot cleanly with a shot from a sharp angle near the bottom of the left circle for his 82nd career playoff point.

Three minutes later, McDavid scored on a power play, knocking in a rebound of his own shot for his first goal of these playoffs. Evan Bouchard picked up his fifth assist and Draisaitl his fourth on the play.

Doughty got the Kings on the board 5:32 into the second period, one-timing a cross pass from Quinton Byfield into the net. For Byfield, the assist was his third in two games, pushing his playoff point streak to five games. But Kane got the goal back for Edmonton two minutes later, deflecting in a shot by defenseman Cody Ceci from the blue line off his leg past Talbot.

The Kings, who have been eliminated by Edmonton in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons, showed their frustration in the third period when three players were sent off the ice, defenseman Andreas Englund for fighting and an illegal check to the head, Anze Kopitar for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct and Adrian Kempe for roughing.

Two Oilers also went off after the skirmish, but the double penalites on Kopitar and Englund left Edmonton with a five-on-three advantage and Hyman needed less than 80 seconds to take advantage, scoring his sixth goal of the series to give Edmonton a 5-1 lead.

McDavid got his playoff-high seventh assist on the goal, yet the Oilers’ Big Three weren’t done, with Draisaitl tacking on another goal at 12:38. McDavid got another assist on that one. The one-sided scoreline could be a bad omen for the Kings, who were routed 8-2 by the Oilers in Los Angeles in Game 3 two years ago and went on to lose the series in seven games.

The Oilers have 17 goals in the series, which resumes Sunday with Game 4 at Arena.

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