Leon Draisaitl’s four-goal game wasn’t enough for the Edmonton Oilers in a 6-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights to open their second-round playoff series Wednesday.
Ivan Barbashev scored twice and Mark Stone had a goal and an assist for host Vegas.
Chandler Stephenson and Michael Amadio also scored for the Knights with Jack Eichel adding an empty-net goal. Knights defenceman Zach Whitecloud had two assists.
WATCH | Golden Knights score twice in 50 seconds early in 3rd period:
Vegas starter Laurent Brossoit stopped 23 shots for the win, while Edmonton counterpart Stuart Skinner turned away 28 shots in the loss.
Skinner was among the three Calder Trophy nominees announced earlier Wednesday for the NHL’s rookie award.
Draisaitl’s 11 goals lead the NHL post-season. Connor McDavid, Mattias Ekholm and Zach Hyman each had two assists for Edmonton.
LE🚨🚨🚨🚨N <a href=”https://t.co/wG3hZKZ2DX”>pic.twitter.com/wG3hZKZ2DX</a>
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Las Vegas before the series flips to Edmonton for the third and fourth games.
The Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings in six games in the first round. The Knights had a slightly longer break after dispatching the Winnipeg Jets in five games to advance.
The hosts led 3-2 and carried a 26-15 edge in shots after 40 minutes. After the five-goal fireworks in the first period, neither side scored in the second.
Draisaitl completed a hat trick with a power-play goal at 1:35 of the third while Vegas defenceman Alex Pietrangelo served a roughing minor that carried over from the end of the second period.
Neon Leon 🎩🎩🎩 <a href=”https://t.co/avttPcc6zo”>pic.twitter.com/avttPcc6zo</a>
But the Knights countered with a pair of goals in less than a minute to lead 5-3. Barbashev notched his second tipping Whitecloud’s shot from the point by Skinner at 2:36.
Edmonton’s goalie didn’t get all of Stephenson’s shot from the hashmarks and the puck trickled into the net at 3:26.
Draisaitl scored his fourth at 8:33 off the rush. With Skinner heading to the bench for an extra attacker, the Oilers were called for too many men with 63 seconds remaining in the game.
The Knights countered with three straight goals before Draisaitl pulled his team within a goal with 11 seconds left in the period.
Draisaitl, from the side of the net, chipped the puck over Brossoit’s shoulder. The Vegas goalie arched his back too late and the puck rolled off his back and into the net.
Drai banks it in for his second of the period 📐 <a href=”https://t.co/mJqB4i8GqW”>pic.twitter.com/mJqB4i8GqW</a>
Stone redirected Reilly Smith’s shot upstairs on Skinner with the heel of his blade for a power-play goal at 18:23.
Amadio scored off the rush from the top of the faceoff circle on a cross-ice feed from William Karlsson at 9:54.
Barbashev found the loose puck in front of the crease to pull Vegas even just 40 seconds after Edmonton’s first goal.
Draisaitl dropping to his knee to one-time a cross-ice feed from McDavid is a signature play with a man advantage. They executed it for an early Oilers’ lead.
Edmonton’s power play converted two of three chances. Vegas was two-for-four, including Eichel’s empty-netter
Draisaitl has at least a point in all seven post-season games he’s played (11 goals, four assists).