EDMONTON, Alberta — Alex Iafallo scored the overtime winner as the visiting Los Angeles Kings erased a two-goal, third-period deficit en route to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers to open their first-round playoff series Monday night.
Iafallo scored a power-play goal at 9:19 of OT by converting Viktor Arvidsson’s feed from behind the net.
“Alex is kind of our unsung hero,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He cleans up. (Assistant coach) Trent Yawney always says he cleans up a lot of messes. Errors, mistakes, for teammates, he seems to be the cleanup guy. But on the other side of it, he has the ability to score. He can go up and down the lineup, penalty kills, blocks shots.
The Kings won overcoming a multiple-goal deficit in the third period for the first time since Game 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers.
Adrian Kempe scored twice, and Anze Kopitar had a goal and three assists for Los Angeles, which held Oilers captain and NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid scoreless.
Kings goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 38 saves for the win.
Leon Draisaitl countered with a pair of goals, and Evan Bouchard also scored for the Oilers (50-23-9), who ranked second in the Pacific Division this season ahead of third-seeded Kings (47-25-10).
Oilers starter Stuart Skinner stopped 31 shots in his NHL playoff debut.
Edmonton defenseman Vincent Desharnais was penalized in overtime for tripping Blake Lizotte, although Lizotte appeared to step on a broken stick on the ice and fall.
The Oilers almost ended it at 1:54 of OT, but officials ruled Ryan McLeod’s shot from the blue line deflected off Derek Ryan’s high stick.
The Oilers will try even the series in Wednesday’s Game 2 at Rogers Place.
Edmonton also dropped the opener of a first-round series against the Kings last year, but the Oilers took it in seven games to advance.
The Oilers led Monday’s opener 2-0 after the first and second periods before a four-goal third.
Kempe halved the deficit 52 seconds into the third period when the clubs played four aside.
Draisaitl restored Edmonton’s two-goal lead at 8:46, only for Kempe to pull his team within a goal again at 11:23.
With Bouchard serving a high-sticking penalty and Korpisalo pulled for an extra attacker, Kopitar produced the equalizer with 17 seconds remaining in regulation.
The puck lay in the crease for Kopitar to poke in after Phillip Danault’s shot squeezed between Skinner’s pads. It marked the sixth time in team history that the Kings scored a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation in a playoff game. Los Angeles is now 4-2 in such contests.
The Oilers have now blown a multiple-goal lead in the third period at least once in each of the past three postseasons: Monday night against the Kings, Game 4 of the 2022 Western Conference finals against the Colorado Avalanche, and in the first round of the 2021 playoffs (Game 3) at the Winnipeg Jets.
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.