Ahead of Game 2 vs. the Los Angeles Kings, we know the Edmonton Oilers are down 0-1 in the series. We also know the team is confident in their ability to even things up and go into Los Angeles having turned the momentum of the series back in their favor. Head coach Jay Woodcroft said, “Our focus & concentration as a team is just on continuing to get better.” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added, “We have another chance tonight.” Darnell Nurse added, “They got the better of us in Game 1 and we’ve got to make some adjustments and bring our game up another level to try to get the result tonight.”
The latest information includes talk about a Mattias Janmark injury, if the Oilers will go 11-7 and bring in Philip Broberg, and how Edmonton might get McDavid some easier looks on offense versus a stingy Kings defense that includes well-rounded defensive forwards.
Can the Oilers Bounce Back After a Game 1 Loss?
Edmonton has been here before. The last time these two teams met, the Kings were up 1-0 in the series off the heels of a bad goal let in by Mike Smith. It could have been problematic or defeating for the Oilers, but they were able to rally back and defeat the Kings by a score of 6-0 in their second matchup.
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This is the kind of game that the Oilers should get up for and it will be intriguing to see if they stomp Los Angeles like they did the last time these two teams met in Game 2. Connor McDavid was buzzing in Game 1, but had little to show for it. Can the Kings keep McDavid off the scoresheet for two games in a row? More on that later.
Leon Draisaitl had two goals, but the rest of the team was relatively quiet. The Oilers will likely flood the net with shots and if their level of play in the first two periods of Game 1 is elevated, they should be in good shape, with the mentality they need to be better at locking down the lead.
Edmonton does not want to go down two games and they certainly don’t want to eliminate home-ice advantage in this series.
No Mattias Janmark for Game 2
After blocking a shot in Game 1, it looks like Mattias Janmark is out for Game 2. In fact, Jason Gregor of TSN is reporting that he would be surprised to see Janmark return to the series.
As a result of Janmark coming out, one of Devin Shore or Philip Broberg will likely come into the lineup. Both came off ice a bit early from practice. It doesn’t sound like that decision or whether the Oilers will go 11-7 will be confirmed until warmup.
Is Broberg the Guy to Get the Call?
It seems more likely that Broberg will come into the lineup and the Oilers will run 11-7. Part of this is based on an article written by Allan Mitchell of The Athletic in which he made the argument Broberg should come in for Klim Kostin. This was before the news that Janmark was out.
When Woodcroft moves into an 11-7 alignment, it allows the club to double-shift impact centres Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The two men often alternate on the fourth line, allowing the elite pivots clean air and the soft parade opposition.source – ‘Lowetide: Oilers’ quality of ‘next man up’ could be key to deep playoff run’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 04/19/2023
Woodcroft may do this as an opportunity to get McDavid some easy offense. It’s not that the Oilers’ captain can’t go off for a couple of goals against the best of the best, but if he’s playing in some of the weaker matchups while the Oilers have the benefit of last change, McDavid could explode offensively.
Key to Winning Game 2 vs. Kings
The key for the Oilers on Wednesday is to stay out of the penalty box. They essentially gave the game away in the final few minutes of the third period by taking undisciplined infractions while they were trying to hold the lead. The Kings power play is good. If you give them enough opportunities, they’ve already proved it can bite you.