Tuesday and Wednesday night both featured Game Seven’s in the NHL playoffs. A third deciding game is scheduled for Friday night to determine the final four teams that will compete for the Stanley Cup.
The Anaheim Ducks are set to host the Los Angeles Kings in the finale of their series. The winner will go on to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals.
A win for Anaheim would guarantee the franchise their best season, since they won the Stanley Cup in 2007. The Kings were knocked out the conference finals last year by the Blackhawks. They won the championship in the previous season.
Every game in the series has been competitive. Four of the six contests have been decided by one goal, including the opener, which went into overtime. The other two games were decided by two goals.
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Home-ice advantage has meant nothing between the cross-town rivals. Los Angeles jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, by stealing the first two games in Anaheim. The Ducks answered back by sweeping the Kings at Staples Center.
The goaltenders have been the biggest story in the series. Jonathan Quick has a 91.4 save percentage against Anaheim, allowing just four goals in three L.A. victories. For the Ducks, rookie John Gibson has started the last three contests and performed like a veteran, stopping 94.6 percent of the shots that have come his way.
Game Seven is a virtual toss-up. At home, the higher seeded Ducks are slight favorites, with their odds listed at -115 at Las Vegas casinos. The underdog Kings come in at -105.
If the first six games are any indication, Los Angeles might have the slight edge. The underdog has upset the favorite four times in the series.
The contest should come down to the wire, and would surprise few if it went into an extra session. L.A. has been terrific in elimination games, winning all five times in 2014 when their season has been on the line. Gibson has been great for Anaheim, but it’s hard to bet against Quick in a Game Seven. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik have been every bit as good as the Duck’s dynamic duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Look for the Kings to advance.
Los Angeles 2, Anaheim 1