On Friday night the Los Angeles Kings won their second Game 7 in as many series with a “road” win in Anaheim, California. Unlike their first series, they didn’t need to pull off an 0-3 miracle comeback to do so. But it didn’t really matter as the end result was the same: advancement into the next round.
And in the Kings’ case, this time the next round just happens to be the Western Conference Finals.
The Kings came out swinging as Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards staked them to a 3-0 1st period lead against rookie Ducks goaltender John Gibson.
Kings’ center Anze Kopitar’s 5th goal of the playoffs just 2:02 into the middle period was the knockout blow for Gibson, who was then sent to the bench in favor of the Ducks’ veteran backstop Jonas Hiller.
Hiller couldn’t stop Marian Gaborik though, whose incredible playoff performance continues on. Gaborik’s 9th postseason tally upped the score to 5-0 Visitors and the rout was truly on. The Ducks’ Kyle Palmieri and Corey Perry lit the lamp after the fact, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Any faint hope that remained in Anaheim was quashed by Kings’ winger Tanner Pearson’s late goal to finalize the score at 6-2.
Most of this contest was little more than a formality and a handshake line on the Kings way to Illinois.
The Kings will now face perhaps their toughest opponent yet in the Blackhawks. If their run to the Stanley Cup is to continue, the next step will be Game 1 in Chicago Sunday afternoon at 3pm ET.