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'It’s super frustrating': Kings fall to Oilers for third straight year


Three years, three first-round exits for the Los Angeles Kings at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

Wednesday's season-ending 4-3 loss to the Oilers in Game 5 was a familiar feeling for the Kings, who have failed to win a playoff round since claiming the Stanley Cup in 2014. 

“I mean, it doesn’t matter, you’re out of the playoffs regardless of who beats you, but definitely not a great feeling getting the worst of it three years in a row,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said, per “And it just [stinks] right now.

“We’ve just got to play better, really. Special teams hurt us a lot, obviously, this series. There were parts of the games where we were good, we were dictating the game, but you’ve got to do it, obviously, more often and every game, too, in order to win the series.”

The Kings lost in Game 7 to the Oilers in 2022, fell in six games to Edmonton last spring and appeared to take another step backwards with a 4-1 series loss this year. 

Todd McLellan was behind the bench for the previous two series, while this year's exit came with Jim Hiller serving as interim head coach. Hiller replaced McLellan after a 23-15-10 start, guiding Los Angeles to a 21-12-1 record down the stretch. 

“It’s super frustrating,” Kings defenceman Drew Doughty said. “I mean, I don’t really have all the answers for you on what’s missing. We probably just needed some more guys to step up, play better. All of us, every single guy on the team. That’s the only way you’re going to win a playoff series.”

The Kings have the majority of their roster under contract for next season, with six players scheduled for unrestricted free agency. Forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Trevor Lewis are scheduled to hit the open market, along with defenceman Matt Roy and all three of the team's goaltenders - Cam Talbot, David Rittich and Aaron Dell