If the Edmonton Oilers were able to tie the series 2-2 in their series against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, it's not just because of Connor McDavid, because an unexpected player may have be played a leading role in the future outcome of the confrontation.
In fact, the principal concerned started the evening on the bench and surely did not expect to make his contribution on the ice. Having replaced Stuart Skinner three goals down at the start of the second period, Jack Campbell made a save that kept his side alive late in regulation. With less than six minutes to go in the third period and the score 4-3 in favor of the Kings, the goaltender extended the pad to frustrate Viktor Arvidsson on a breakaway. Soon after, Evander Kane created the deadlock and Zach Hyman gave the Oilers the overtime win.
Jack Campbell makes a massive stop on Arvidsson's partial break to keep the Oilers in the game#LetsGoOilers | #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/CVsUqxidIy
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 24, 2023
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Besides, Campbell's teammates are very grateful for his work. After all, Edmonton was outshot 13-1 in the opening 14 minutes of the third period.
“It's not an easy situation to walk in in the middle of a game and that hasn't been an easy year for him, forward Leon Draisaitl said of the former Kings goaltender, as reported by the Edmonton Sun. However, he was really excellent tonight and we are lucky to bet on him.
“On the other side, they had a big first period, but nobody gave up, added the masked man. I felt good from the start and the guys did a good job ahead of me. We showed up second to work hard the rest of the night. We scored an important goal in overtime.”
Seven games left?
Thus, the two formations borrow a similar trend to that of last year, when Edmonton defeated Los Angeles in seven games in the first round. The next matchup of the series is scheduled to air on TVA Sports on Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., at Rogers Place and other exciting moments should occur.
“There were three games that were decided in overtime so far, while the other was tight as possible. There is little space. They're two good clubs with an effective power play, Hyman told NHL.com. This was expected. Everyone predicted a tough series and no one expected an easy duel. It's now a series 2 of 3.”
It remains to be seen whether Campbell will return to a starting role against a team for which he has played 57 career games. But no matter who they face, the Kings will have to watch McDavid, who added three assists to his tally on Sunday.
As a negative in the Oilers clan, defenseman Vincent Desharnais was on the ice for the opponent's first three goals. He was benched in the third engagement.