It only seems right that this series between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks go seven games, doesn’t it?
This series has already given so much more meaning to the rivalry between the Kings and Ducks. Both teams went into each other’s barns and won two games on the road. Both answered the call by winning their next home game, the Kings doing so in a game that could have sent them home for the summer.
Both fan bases and franchises have waited 20-years for these two teams to finally meet in the post season, so why not get as much of it as possible?
After winning the first two games on the road and going up 2-0 in the series, the Kings hit a bit of a speed bump losing the next three games, including two games at Staples Center dropping them to 3-2 in the series going into game six.
However, the Los Angeles Kings forced a decisive game seven by beating the Ducks by a score of 2-1 in game six at Staples Center two nights ago. The Kings got goals from Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis while Jonathan Quick turned away 21 shots for the win. The Ducks cut the Kings’ lead from 2-0 to 2-1 late in the second period but never found the equalizer and now have to try and eliminate the Kings in Anaheim later tonight.
Tonight the Kings will try to keep their record spotless when facing elimination. The Kings have already faced elimination five times during the post season and have gone a perfect 5-0 in those games. In the five games where the Kings have been on the brink of elimination they have outscored their opponents by a score of 20-6.
The Kings have experience on their side and seem to thrive when their backs are up against the wall. This is no more apparent than in the play of Justin Williams. Williams has played in a total of five game sevens in his career and has recorded five goals and ten points in those five games.
But a big game game from only Williams will likely not be enough if the Los Angeles Kings want to live to play another game. Anze Kopitar, who leads the NHL with 17-points in the playoffs, and Marian Gaborik, who leads the league with eight goals in the playoffs, will need to be deciding factors on the ice for the Kings. Kopitar has four goals and eight points, while Gaborik has two goals and five points in the five elimination games the Kings have faced in these playoffs.
Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time. Hopefully I am writing a series preview for a match up against the Chicago Blackhawks in a day, and not a season review.