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NHL - US Sports: Oilers relishing play-off challenge

After taking a 2-1 series lead over the LA Kings in the Western Conference first round, Evander Kane said the Edmonton Oilers are rising to the Stanley Cup Playoff challenge.

The Oilers, 14/1 to lift the Cup and 1/7 to progress past the Kings, dropped game one of the best-of-seven series 4-3, before rallying to win games two and three 6-0 and 8-2.

Kane is shining in play-offs

In the most recent wide-margin victory, 30-year-old Kane scored a hat-trick to take his goals total to five in the three games - with an assist too, he has six points which joint leads all players in the play-offs.

Kane joined the Oilers after being waived by the San Jose Sharks in January and says he feels back to his old self after a turbulent time off the ice.

When Edmonton added Kane, they sat outside of the play-off positions, but helped by his 22 goals, 17 assists (39 points) and a coaching change, the Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division (49-27-6) and with home ice advantage against the Kings.

Kane is in a 14th NHL season and his third time participating in the play-offs. In 32 post-season appearances with the Oilers and Sharks he has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists).

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The Oilers lead all teams in the play-offs with 17 goals, and with five coming on the powerplay, their sensational 45.5 per cent conversion rate with the man-advantage is also best.

Kane said to the media: "I think our 5-on-5 game has gotten a lot better. Obviously, our special teams have been good throughout these three games.

"I think it's that time of year where you want to raise your game to a different level, and I think there's a lot of guys doing that right now."

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