The Edmonton Oilers held a 3-1 lead over the Los Angeles Kings at one point during Game 1 of their 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff matchup. In the end, however, the team fell in overtime 4-3.
The winning goal was scored by Kings forward Alex Iafallo. The 29-year-old slotted home his chance on the power play after a bit of a questionable penalty right before it.
Kings forward Blake Lizotte and Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais were chasing the puck along the boards. Desharnais fell to the ice, and shortly thereafter Lizotte did as well. A tripping penalty was called on the Oilers defenseman.
vincent desharnais is off to the box in overtime for tripping. pic.twitter.com/weEs8LPrDP
— zach (@zjlaing) April 18, 2023
In real time, it did look like Lizotte tripped over a broken stick in his offensive zone. However, slow-motion replay did show Desharnais’s stick whipping around. And an argument could be made his stick got caught in Lizotte’s feet.
In any event, the penalty has caused a stir on social media. Many fans believe the penalty shifted momentum and allowed the Kings to stake away with this crucial victory.
Refs win it for LA
— Memeamoto (@KailerMemeamoto) April 18, 2023
You mean the refs
— Mike Jones (@nuttyskadork) April 18, 2023
Refs in this league are a joke, all of the games today have been simply ruined by the refs getting too involved
— Alex Attali (@Wravis_Wcott) April 18, 2023
Others believe the call was justified, especially considering some of the earlier incidences in the game. Fans also took the opportunity to meme on Edmonton for blowing a 3-1 lead.
Oilers downfall pic.twitter.com/9oTvBnLMKi
— Not Happy Vancouver Sports Fan (@InternetUser414) April 18, 2023
It was 3-1🤣🤣🤣
— pain (@WollGotNext) April 18, 2023
LMAOOO TRASH pic.twitter.com/b00ym07TUX
— Raptors give me depression (@ScottieBarns_) April 18, 2023
The Kings began their comeback in the third period. Adrian Kempe scored at 11:23 to bring the score within one goal. In the waning seconds of the game, Kings captain Anze Kopitar delivered a dagger to the heart of Oilers fans. His goal with a little less than 17 seconds left tied the game and forced overtime.
The Oilers have a chance to move past this loss on Wednesday when they go again for Game 2. Only time will tell if this penalty has a lasting effect on this series.