Previous Game: Ducks' Season Ends in Heartbreaking Fashion, in 6-2 Defeat to Kings in Game 7

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 12:00 PM / News
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Previous Game: Ducks\' Season Ends in Heartbreaking Fashion, in 6-2 Defeat to Kings in Game 7
ANAHEIM \u2013 What promised to be an epic Game 7 between the Ducks and Kings was virtually over before it started. In front of an anxious sellout crowd at Honda Center, the Kings scored three times in the game\u2019s first 15 minutes and hardly looked back in a 6-2 downing of the Ducks to clinch the first playoff series between the bitter SoCal rivals.
ANAHEIM – What promised to be an epic Game 7 between the Ducks and Kings was virtually over before it started.

In front of an anxious sellout crowd at Honda Center, the Kings scored three times in the game’s first 15 minutes and hardly looked back in a 6-2 downing of the Ducks to clinch the first playoff series between the bitter SoCal rivals.

"They came out and got some quick goals and never really looked back," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "Really tough emotions right now. They came out and played the way they can play. They’re a good hockey team. They know what they’re doing in these situations."

The Kings outplayed and outworked the Ducks for most of the night, showing yet again why they’re now 6-0 in elimination games this postseason, including Game 6 two nights ago in LA.

"It’s what we worked for, for these situations in case there was a Game 7," Getzlaf said. "We had it in our building. We weren’t able to take advantage of it tonight."

John Gibson, the 20-year-old rookie goalie who valiantly won Games 4 and 5 for the Ducks, was – like his teammates – not his sharpest tonight. Gibson, who lost for the first time in his career in Game 6, gave up four goals on 18 shots before being pulled early in the second period.

In a series where the team to score first has won each game, the Kings did it this time on a Justin Williams strike 4:30 after the opening faceoff. After a Ben Lovejoy holding penalty, a Kings shot from the point rebounded off Gibson and Williams took two pokes at it to get it over the stripe. It was the sixth Game 7 goal in Williams’ career (including his time with the Carolina Hurricanes).

The Kings made it 2-0 off a Ducks turnover, as Marian Gaborik tapped the puck to a streaking Jeff Carter, who got in front of rookie Hampus Lindholm for the breakaway backhander.

With just under five minutes left in the period, Dwight King fired a shot from the slot that rebounded off Gibson, and Richards chipped it through to make it 3-0 LA.

"The first period was like men against boys, quite frankly," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "They were bigger, stronger, faster, and seemed more determined. We were on our heels. Everything we said we wanted not to do, we did."

It was more of the same in the second, as just two minutes into the period, the Kings got on a 2-on-1 off a Ducks turnover and Anze Kopitar sniped a shot past Gibson.

The Ducks pulled Gibson for Jonas Hiller after that goal, though that didn’t give the Ducks the spark they hoped for. They still couldn’t get much past Jonathan Quick (25 saves), and the Kings made it 5-0 off a power play following a dubious goalie interference call on Kyle Palmieri. LA once again took advantage, as Kopitar made a cross-ice pass to Gaborik, who got it behind Hiller from the slot.

Anaheim mercifully got its first goal with 2:55 left in the second when Andrew Cogliano fed Palmieri from behind the net for the one-timer that Quick pinned between his pad and the net, just over the stripe.

"By the time we started playing well in the second, Quick was there to make the saves when they needed them," Boudreau said.

The Ducks played with more urgency in the third and gave themselves a glimmer to hope 3:42 into the third period. Ryan Getzlaf backhanded a pass to Corey Perry in the slot, and Perry wristed it past Quick on the stick side to make it 5-2.

But they wouldn’t find the net again, and the Kings made it 6-2 on the odd-man rush when Carter fed Tanner Pearson for the tap-in. From there, it was just a countdown to the final horn for the Ducks and their shell-shocked fans.

"We just need to keep working," Getzlaf said when asked what the message was to the Ducks faithful. "We had a heck of a year. A lot of good things happened, and we made a lot of good strides. There were good emotions throughout this building. I thank the fans for showing up every night and supporting us through this whole [season]."

It was an unfortunate way to go out for 43-year-old legend Teemu Selanne, who announced before this season that it would be his last, making a painful final appearance tonight. Selanne and the rest of the Ducks saluted the fans after the handshakes between the two teams.

"It was very disappointing," Selanne said. "I knew it was either going to be an unbelievable party or disappointment. This time it wasn’t the party. It’s very disappointing. We had no business there. It’s a funny game. We had our chances. We just couldn’t take advantage of them. That’s the way it goes."

The Kings move on to their third straight Western Conference Final and will face the Blackhawks in a series that gets underway Sunday afternoon. It's a series in which the Ducks, and Selanne, felt like they belonged.

"It’s a tough feeling," Selanne said. "You want to go further. We all felt we had a chance to go to the next round, and maybe all the way. It’s going to be tough waking up tomorrow morning and realizing it’s all over. But I want to look at the big picture and enjoy this game, my teammates, the fans and the organization. Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect to have a career like this. I’m very thankful."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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