The Anaheim Ducks look to close out their second round series against their division rival Los Angeles Kings tonight. The Ducks trailed after two games 0-2 in this series, but have won three straight to take a 3-2 series advantage.
Game starts at 6:30 p.m. at Staples Center.
Last Match Up: 4-3 (May 12)
In Game 5, Nick Bonino scored just over two minutes to start the game to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. Trevor Lewis would respond for the Kings and the teams were tied 1-1 after the first period. Devante Smith-Pelly scored the next two goals to give the Ducks a 3-1 advantage early in the second period. Jakob Silfverberg scored to add to the Ducks lead 4-1. Marian Gaborik scored late in the second and third periods to bring the Kings within one goal. Anaheim would hold on and won 4-3.
Keys to the Game:
1. Score First: The team that has scored first in this series has won every game. The Ducks need to score first and keep the pressure on the Kings. The Kings have only rallied once when trailing in this series.
2. Cycle: The Ducks need to continue to get the pucks deep and wear down the Kings defense. The Kings have injuries to two key defensemen and the Ducks need to continue to keep the pressure on.
1. Turnovers: The Kings made some costly turnovers in Game 5 and in this series. They need to limit the turnovers because the Ducks have cashed in with goals when it has happened.
2. First Period: The Kings need to come out of the first period tied or ahead. In their two previous games at home, they trailed after the first period of play and lost both games.
Players to Watch:
1. Teemu Selanne had two big goals in this series and he had a key assist on the Ducks second goal in Game 5. Look for Selanne to make more plays as he knows the importance of avoiding a Game 7.
2. Devante Smith-Pelly had two big goals in Game 5. He has scored three goals in the last two games. Look for Smith-Pelly to continue to produce while on the top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
1. Anze Kopitar did earn an assist in Game 5, but he did not score a goal. Kopitar is going to need to carry the Kings if they hope to force a Game 7.
2. Marian Gaborik had two goals in Game 5. Despite it being in a losing effort, Gaborik has been extremely dangerous in this series. The Ducks are going to need to keep a on body him throughout the game.
John Gibson: 2-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .957 SV% (Unconfirmed)
Jonathan Quick: 6-6-0, 2.94 GAA, .911 SV% (Unconfirmed)
The Ducks were in this position last series against the Dallas Stars. The Ducks had to score two goals in the final minutes of Game 6 to force overtime, in which they eventually won. The Ducks want to avoid getting behind and having to try to rally in that fashion. The Ducks need to score first and keep the pressure on the Kings defense for the entire game.
If the Ducks stick their game plan for 60 minutes, then they win this series and avoid a Game 7.
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