Fast start lifts Kings over Ducks in finale

Published May 16, 2014 11:39 pm
Los Angeles advances to conference finals with 6-2 victory.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Anaheim, Calif. • Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored in an overwhelming first period, and the Los Angeles Kings advanced to their third straight Western Conference finals with a 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of their second-round series Friday night.

Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to help the Kings claim the first postseason Freeway Faceoff series in thrilling style, winning back-to-back elimination games over their top-seeded Southern California rivals.

The Kings improved to 6-0 when facing elimination this spring, shredding rookie goalie John Gibson for four goals in the first 23 minutes in Game 7.

The defeat likely ended the career of 43-year-old Teemu Selanne, who intends to retire.

"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 advanced to a conference finals rematch with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 1 is Sunday in Chicago.

The Kings added the victory to their 7-1 record in elimination games over the past two years, showing off the remarkable poise that has led to eight playoff series victories in three seasons. The 2012 Stanley Cup champions took charge in the first period and led 5-0 late in the second, never allowing the Ducks to get close in their own building.

Los Angeles, which chased Gibson on Kopitar's goal early in the second period, hung on to win its second straight seven-game series. The Kings rallied from an 0-3 deficit to stun San Jose in the first round.

Kings fans' chants of "This is our house!" echoed through Honda Center, where the Ducks were one of the NHL's best home teams during the best regular season in franchise history.

The Kings got stellar performances from their best big-game players. Quick improved to 3-0 in Game 7 in his career, while Williams kicked off Los Angeles' first-period onslaught with his sixth goal in six career trips to Game 7. Williams also has six assists in those deciding games. —

NHL playoffs

O Friday

• Los Angeles 6, Anaheim 2

Kings win series 4-3

Conference finals


• N.Y. Rangers at Montreal, 11 a.m., Ch. 5


• Los Angeles at Chicago, 1 p.m., Ch. 5



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