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Oilers Lose to Avalanche in Game 82; Will Face Kings in Round 1 – The Hockey Writers – Edmonton Oilers

Dylan Holloway Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers concluded their schedule with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on the final night of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, Thursday (April 18).

The game was inconsequential for both teams, as Edmonton and Colorado were already locked into second place in the Pacific Division and third place in the Central Division, respectively. Dylan Holloway scored the lone goal for Edmonton, while the Avs got two goals from Valeri Nichushkin, and one each from Josh Manson, Zach Parise, and Mikko Rantanen.

Dylan Holloway, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Edmonton rested several players, Colorado iced its regular full lineup, and the result was a decidedly lopsided match-up in favour of the home side.

The Avalanche charged out of the gate, scoring four times before the game was barely 10 minutes old, and from there cruised to victory. The teams combined for just one goal over the final two periods, there was no scoring in the last 28 minutes of the game.

But while this game provided little in the way of excitement for Edmonton fans, Thursday night turned out to be one of the more exciting season finales in Oilers history.

Kings Book Playoff Date With Oilers

That’s because of the drama that played out in Nevada and California, where the results in the last two games on this season’s NHL schedule determined Edmonton’s opponent in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Going into Thursday, the Oilers knew they would play the third-place team in the Pacific Division. What they didn’t know was whether that would be the Vegas Golden Knights, who were hosting the Anaheim Ducks, or the Los Angeles Kings, who were entertaining the Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas led the Kings by one point, but Los Angeles held the tiebreaker.

Related: Oilers Wait to Learn if Playoff Opponent Will Be Kings or Golden Knights

Shortly after the Oilers skated off the ice in Denver, Vegas was defeated 4-1 by Anaheim, opening the door for the Kings, who needed just a point to clinch third. At that point, Los Angeles held a 3-1 lead at the second intermission and Oilers fans were already discussing the merits of facing the Kings for a third straight postseason.

Then the Blackhawks scored three quick goals to open the third period, and the talk in Edmonton suddenly turned to a playoff rematch with the Golden Knights.

Finally, with just 1:21 remaining, Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson scored on the power-play to tie the game at 4-4. Moments later, once the final…

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