The Oilers jumped into the lead just before the game turned seven minutes old.
Mattias Janmark’s pass went off a skate right to Leon Draisaitl, who popped the puck past Joonas Korpisalo. Evan Bouchard sniped on a two-man advantage later in the first to make it 2-0 Oilers.
“We got to be more mature than that”, said Draisaitl in clear frustration. It’s a 3-1 game and eight minutes left or whatever, we got to lock that down.”
Bouchard had another good look from the slot in the second but rang his shot off the post.
Adrian Kempe gave the Kings life 52 seconds into the third, cutting in front and beating Stuart Skinner with a backhand.
Draisaitl restored the Oilers two-goal lead with 11:14 to go. His initial backhand was stopped, but the puck came back to him out of a scramble, allowing him to pot it on the forehand.
However, Kempe scored less than three minutes later to cut the Oilers lead to 3-2.
The Kings went on the power play with 1:50 left when Bouchard was nabbed for high sticking Trevor Moore.
“Anytime you’re asking yourself to kill six penalties in a playoff game it’s not ideal. It taxes too many people. It’s asking a lot of that special teams unit. Certainly, we can better in that situation,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft.
Korpisalo went to the bench off the ensuing face-off to give the Kings a six-on-four advantage.
Anze Kopitar tapped in a loose puck in the crease to make it 3-3 with 16.7 seconds on the clock.
“We felt like we covered it pretty well, but they seem to squeak one through”, said Mattias Ekholm on the tying goal. “Nothing to dwell over, it’s what happens. I think the way we played 5-on-5 it’s going to benefit us in the long run.”
The Oilers briefly celebrated early in overtime, but the goal was waved off as Derek Ryan tipped it in with a high stick.
The Kings got a power play in overtime when Vincent Desharnais was called for tripping Blake Lizotte. Iafallo snapped in a pass from Viktor Arvidsson to end it.
“My initial thought on the play was that the player stepped on the broken stick. But those are the things that happen in the playoffs sometimes,” said Woodcroft on the penalty.
“We had the game in our hands,” said Vincent Desharnais. “We just let it slip away and we took too many penalties. I thought our (penalty) kill was really good in the second period. We just got to learn from it. There’s seven games for a reason.”
Kopitar finished with a goal and three assists.
Game 2 is on Wednesday at Rogers Place. ( The 630 CHED Face-off Show starts at 6 p.m., game begins at 8 p.m.).