For Game 5, the LA Kings will look for a hybrid approach, as they seek to gain a 3-2 series lead over the Oilers.
One team will be arriving in Los Angeles for a potential elimination game on Thursday. The question is, who will have the advantage?
Thus far, Edmonton’s two victories have looked pretty similar – an impressive display of their offensive capabilities. Conversely, the Kings victories have been slightly different. Game 1 saw LA effectively shadow Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl; add in a few opportunistic goals, and LA skated to a 4-3 victory. All the talk after that game centered on coach Todd McLellan’s club playing to their identity.
What changed for Game 4?
LA showed up on Sunday night not looking for a ‘rinse and repeat’ approach to Game 1. Instead, they upped their identity to what can best be described as the ‘playoff version’ of their identity. Postseason action in the NHL is much more physical than the regular season and it may have taken the Kings a few games to realize exactly what that means. For Game 4, they didn’t seek to beat the Oilers to the punch — no pun intended — yet to simply match the intensity the Oilers were bringing. Mission accomplished, as Jonathan Quick stood tall in net and his teammates rewarded him with a 4-0 shutout victory. This current version of the Kings won’t win many games 4-0, yet they’ve shown in their two victories how to summon a winning game plan against Edmonton. To be successful in Game 5, they’ll likely need to pull from each version they’ve won with so far. It will take a hybrid approach from here on out to close out the Oilers.
LA KINGS PROJECTED LINEUP vs. EDMONTON OILERS
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Danault – Grundstrom
Lemieux – Lizotte – Brown
Kaliyev – Kupari – Vilardi
Other options: Andersson, Athanasiou, Byfield
Anderson – Roy
Edler – Stecher
Maatta – Durzi
Other options: Bjornfot, Moverare, Spence, Strand
LTIR: Doughty, Walker
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm PST and the game will be televised on Bally Sports Network.
Kings Of The Podcast: Ep. 127 – Live From Playoff Fan Fest, Plus Jim Fox
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