LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick attempted to make some of his 31 saves without his glove in a masterful performance, Carl Grundstrom scored two third-period goals and the Los Angeles Kings bounced back from back-to-back losses for even their first-round playoffs with a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 on Sunday night.
After Trevor Moore and Troy Stecher scored in the first period, Quick earned his 10th career playoff shutout as the Kings firmly blocked Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Los Angeles earned its first home playoff victory since lifting the Stanley Cup for the second time in 2014.
Mike Smith stopped 42 shots for the Oilers, but McDavid, Draisaitl and Evander Kane all struggled for consistent scoring chances after two games of dominance. Edmonton’s frustrations and Los Angeles’ exuberance led to several stoppages and near-brawls in the final minutes.
The bad feelings were sparked when Grundstrom scored his first career playoff goal while sliding headfirst into Smith and the goal post with 4:54 left after being knocked out by Darnell Nurse. Grundstrom added an empty-netter with 1:31 left.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Edmonton, and Game 6 in Los Angeles on Thursday.
After being humiliated by a combined 14-2 in the previous two games, the Kings once again looked like the playoff-worthy team that won Game 1 in Edmonton. The Kings also improved on faceoffs and special teams, killing all three Oilers power plays after allowing five power-play goals and one shorthanded goal in the first three games.
Edmonton didn’t start rolling until late in the second period, but its best chances were rebuffed by Quick, the idiosyncratic goaltender with two Stanley Cup rings and good playoff balance.
During one streak, Quick lost his glove and still attempted to make a save with his bare left hand. Still gloveless moments later, he stopped a close range chance with an instinctive strike from his blocker.
McDavid was active in the third period, but he also took a penalty for misguided interference next to the Kings’ goal with 9:40 remaining.
The Kings retained their defensive discipline for most of the third period before Grundstrom scored his first career playoff goal. Edmonton challenged the decision on the play, but lost.
The Oilers’ 17 goals in the first three games of the series was the most of any playoff team since San Jose did the same in 2014 against the Kings – who rallied to eliminate the Sharks in the first round in road to lift the Cup again. . Los Angeles responded to those setbacks with their best defensive performance of the series in Game 4.
The Kings took their first lead since Game 1 when Moore converted a deft pass from Phillip Danault midway through the first period for his second goal of the series. Moore, a Southern California native, got his only playoff experience in 2019 with Toronto.
In a 4-on-4 game later in the first period, Stecher’s shot from the top of the face-off circle deflected Duncan Keith’s stick blade and scored the defenseman’s first goal from deep for the Kings. .
In another measure of Los Angeles’ early dominance, its 20 first-period shots were one of the shyest in franchise playoff history.
Stecher, acquired from Detroit in February, played his first postseason game for Los Angeles in place of the scratched Jordan Spence.
Edmonton forward Derek Ryan sat out after suffering an awkward collision late in Game 3. Journeyman Derick Brassard took his place in the lineup, making a playoff appearance for his sixth team in the NHL.
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