Anaheim’s John Gibson surrendered his first soft goal of the playoffs to give the Los Angeles Kings the win they needed to stay alive as the Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at home to force a seventh game.
Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis scored the goals to give the Kings a 2-0 lead and goalie Jonathan Quick did the rest.
Quick stopped 21 shots, including making a tremendous glove save on a shot that he couldn’t even see. The 28-year-old just instinctively lifted his glove and ended up stopping Cam Fowler’s point shot.
The Ducks responded quickly after going behind by two with a beautiful wrap around goal from Kyle Palmier late in the second period but were unable to tie the game as Quick ended the game with a .954 save percentage.
Their inability to level the game was not for the want of trying.
Ducks veteran Saku Koivu hit the post but Kings defencemen Matt Greene was able to clear the puck off the line before any Ducks players could tap the puck in. Meanwhile, rookie Devante Smith-Pelly also had a chance late in the game but failed to beat Jonathan Quick on the short side.
Ultimately it was the Anaheim Ducks inability to score on their powerplay opportunities is what killed them in this game. The Ducks went 0-5 on the powerplay as the Kings defence somehow found a way to survive and keep the lead.
Had both teams been able to convert on their powerplay opportunities then the game would yielded far more than just the three goals.
The Kings went 0-4 on the night ensuring both coaches will be working on their special teams in preparation for game seven.
Anze Kopitar and Marion Gaborik both assisted on the Kings first goal. These two guys have accumulated an astonishing total of 30 points so far in the playoffs with the franchise's trade for Gaborik on deadline day paying off seemingly every single game for the Los Angeles Kings.
I still maintain the Anaheim Ducks have the edge going into game seven. They’re going home and I’m confident that John Gibson will rebound and put in a final solid performance. The veteran leadership of Teemu Selanne, Saku Koviu, and Francois Beauchemin will also help the younger players keep their composure and keep the game close as well.
Should Anze Kopitar and Marion Gaborik be able to silence the crowd early on however with a few quick goals, the Kings will have a good chance of completing another comeback. Either way, this will be an exciting conclusion to a very evenly matched series.
Game seven is set for Friday in Anaheim.
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