The Anaheim Ducks were looking to put the Game 7 nightmare from last season behind them.
Unfortunately, the nightmare will continue for another year.
The Los Angeles Kings came into Anaheim and dominated the Ducks en route to a 6-2 victory in Game 7 of their second round, best-of-seven playoff series.
Los Angeles will now face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.
The Kings took control of the first period with ease as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. After Ben Lovejoy was sent off for hooking, Justin Williams put the Kings on the board first by putting home the rebound past Ducks rookie John Gibson. With the puck along the boards, Saku Koivu failed to clear the zone, which allowed the Kings to pepper Gibson before Williams capitalized on the mistake.
Jeff Carter would make it 2-0 nearly four minutes later after breaking free for a breakaway. Carter deked Gibson to the right and came back with a backhand over the right pad to give the Kings a two-goal lead not even 10 minutes into the first stanza.
After breaking loose for a breakaway of his own, Corey Perry was slashed from behind by Drew Doughty and was rewarded with a penalty shot. With the Honda Center crowd on its’ feet, Perry tried to fake out Quick, but the netminder poked the puck away to keep the two-goal cushion.
Mike Richards would make it 3-0 at the 15:12 mark of the first period and left the Honda Center crowd stunned. The Kings out-shot the Ducks 16-6 in the first 20 minutes.
It was more of the same in the second as the Kings outworked and outplayed the Ducks once again. Anze Kopitar would score 2:02 into the second frame on a 2-on-1 resulting in Gibson being pulled in favor of veteran Jonas Hiller.
It was Gibson’s worst game in his young NHL career as he gave up three goals on only 16 shots.
Marian Gaborik would get a power play goal after nifty passing in the Ducks’ zone to make it 5-0 midway through the second period.
Anaheim finally got on the board at the 17:02 mark in the second period as Kyle Palmieri squeaked one past Quick to make it 5-1. The goal brought some life into the Ducks as they began to push the pace of play in the Kings’ zone late in the period, but to no avail.
With plenty of desperation, the Ducks were able to get a quick goal to start the third period. Perry fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Quick to cut the deficit to three. But they couldn’t get any closer as the extreme pressure left the Ducks vulnerable on the defensive end. Tanner Pearson scored on an easy 2-on-1 to push the lead back to three.
Los Angeles would preserve the four goal lead the rest of the way and ended the Ducks’ season as well as the career of legend Teemu Selanne.
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