No need to adjust your glasses or get your eyes checked, the series is tied 2-2 between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
The series started to look great for the Ducks in Game 1. The Ducks appeared to have Game 1 wrapped up, leading by one goal with just under a minute to go. Then the unthinkable happened as the Kings tied it with only seven seconds left. The Ducks put on tremendous pressure in the overtime, but couldn’t convert while the opportunistic Kings did. What started out as a great game for the Ducks, ended as a loss.
It was a devastating loss to say the least.
I wrote an article last week about staying positive after the first game and how the Ducks played well. The Ducks responded in Game 2 with great pressure to begin the game. This time they found themselves as the ones trailing by one late in the third period. The Ducks could not get the tying goal and ended up down 2-0 in the series. The Ducks headed on the road to Los Angeles for the next two games.
Ducks fans were depressed and worried about going on the road.
I reminded my family, friends, and fans on social media that the Ducks were 3-0-0 in the regular season on the road in Los Angeles. The Ducks won two games at Staples Center and shut out the Kings at the Stadium Series game. I remained positive and told everyone the Ducks could still win these games.
Game 3 started out great for the Ducks as Corey Perry scored on the power play early in the first period. The Kings tied the game in the second period, but shortly after Teemu Selanne scored to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead going into the third period.
Sounded similar to Game 1 didn’t it?
Game 3 was not a repeat of Game 1 as Ben Lovejoy scored late to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead. The Kings got a late goal, but the Ducks held on to win and get back in the series. The win did come at a cost with Frederik Andersen appearing to injury his leg. Matt Beleskey and Mathieu Perreault were also questionable after the game.
In Game 4, Bruce Boudreau made a bold move as John Gibson was named the starting goalie with Andersen not 100% healthy. I liked the move with Gibson’s record being 3-0-0 including the big win over the San Jose Sharks to reclaim the Pacific Division title.
Beleskey and Perreault were not able to play so Daniel Winnik and Rickard Rakell filled the void in the lineup for the Ducks. The game started great as Devante Smith-Pelly scored on the power play early in the first. Then the birthday captain Ryan Getzlaf scored to make it 2-0. That’s all the Ducks would need as Gibson shut out the Kings.
Gibson is the youngest goalie to start an NHL playoff game and record a shutout.
He looked great all night especially in the second period. Kings coach Darryl Sutter pulled Jonathan Quick and put in Martin Jones to get some momentum for his team and it worked. The Kings came out with tremendous pressure in the second period outshooting the Ducks 12-0. Gibson stood tall to every shot, blocking everything in the second period and game in route to the shut out victory.
The Ducks played great team defense blocking 25 shots in the game last night. The penalty kill was exceptional as well as the Kings went 0 for 4 on the power play. My only concern was the lack of offensive pressure in the second period once the Ducks had the lead. You can play less offense when ahead by a few goals, but you still need to get some shots on net. I am sure Boudreau will address this with the team today.
So far the road team has won every game this series as well as the team that scored first. I look for the Ducks to get the early lead Monday night as the Honda Center will be rocking where the fans have been great all season.
Thanks to all the fans that came to Honda Center last night to welcome the Ducks as they got off the team bus. It was great to see the players high-fiving the fans in the parking lot.
It’s now a best-of-three series.
Pivotal Game 5 is Monday May 12th at 7 p.m. at Honda Center.
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