The Los Angeles Kings have proven to be perhaps the most resilient team in the NHL.
Once again, the Kings went on the road in a Game Seven and thumped their opponent with a clutch performance. At the Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday night, the Kings used a balance attack to defeat the No. 1 seed Ducks, 6-2, to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Much like their victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game Seven of their first-round matchup, the Kings used multiple players to win big. The Kings defeated the Sharks in the final game of the series, 5-1. The win came after being down 3-0 in the series.
L.A. trailed Anaheim 3-2 in the series, but the Kings fought back to advance to face their nemesis the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago defeated L.A. in all three regular-season games, and eliminated the Kings in five games last season in the Western Conference Finals.
It was all L.A. at Honda Center. The Kings owned a 5-0 lead after goals from Justin Williams, Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards in the first period, and then added second-period goals from Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik. It was the ninth goal for Gaborik in the postseason.
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"It seems like the more pressure we have, the better we play," said Gaborik.
The Ducks would fight back. Anaheim seemed to have the Kings on their heels with an aggressive attack in the third period. They would get scores from Kyle Palmieri and Corey Perry. But it was too little too late, and Tanner Pearson would add the sixth goal for L.A. in the closing minutes.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Ducks. Anaheim finished the season with 116 points, and failed to give their organization's greatest player, Teemu Selanne, the proper send off for his final game. The 43-year-old Finnish star received an ovation from the home crowd and even from the Kings.
"It's got to be a lot of happiness later, but it is hard right now," Selanne said. "It was going to be ending in a great celebration or a big disappointment and we didn't get the win."
The Kings will face the Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon at United Center.