It’s taken until game five in this series, but the home team has finally won a game.
The Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 at home Monday night, securing their first lead in the series at 3-2 in the process.
They have a chance to eliminate the Kings on Wednesday night.
Nick Bonino scored first for the Ducks early in the first period and three second period goals were enough to seal the deal for Anaheim. Rookie, Devante Smith–Pelly, scored twice and Jakub Silfverberg scored the other to get the win for the Ducks.
Goalie John Gibson got his second consecutive start meanwhile, and stopped 39 shots to hang on for the victory as he continued his unbelievable form.
Gibson earned a 2-0 shutout in game four and ended Monday’s game with a .928 save percentage. He has definitely earned the right to start in game six in my opinion.
This was a well deserved victory for the Anaheim Ducks. This young roster of players has shown very little weakness, and has been able to come back from being 2-0 down to take the lead in the series.
They used their speed to crash the net and peppered Jonathan Quick with shots all night long. Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Cogliano and Teemu Selanne all got assists in the game to add to those of Mathieu Perreault and Daniel Winnik.
However, the Ducks are very fortunate that they didn’t have to play another period.
The Kings were gaining momentum late on with two quick goals from Marion Gaborik to cut the lead to just one late in the game. Unfortunately for the Kings, they just ran out of time.
The Anaheim Ducks must be far more disciplined if they hope to eliminate the Kings on the road. Whilst Devante Smith-Pelly was the hero in this game the youngster also accumulated eight penalty minutes in the game.
The Kings have proven many times in these playoffs that they will make you pay if you give them powerplay opportunities. In Monday’s game it was Gaborik’s powerplay goal that gave the Los Angeles Kings life in the game.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau must emphasize the need for this young group of players to keep their composure in game six. They have the goaltending skills to keep the game close but they must not surrender early goals due to penalties on the road.
If they can do this I believe the Anaheim Ducks has a wonderful opportunity to end this series early on Wednesday.
I can’t wait to see if John Gibson will be able to outlast Jonathan Quick one more time in game six.
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