The Los Angeles Kings hung onto a 2-1 lead in the late stages of game six on Wednesday to force a game seven on Friday.
The Ducks and Kings game seven on Friday will be the third game seven of the second round and sixth of the postseason. These playoffs have been the most tightly contested playoffs in recent memory and we have not even reached the Conference Finals left… There is a ton of great hockey to be played.
In game six, rookie John Gibson finally showed that he is still a young netminder. He allowed a soft goal in the second period that turned out to be the game-winning goal. Despite the soft goal, Gibson bounced back and finished the contest with 21 saves, giving him a .946 save percentage in the last three games.
At the other end of the rink, the Kings have Jonathan Quick, who is viewed by many as the best goalie in the NHL–he too had 21 saves in last night’s contest. Games four and five were forgettable for Quick, but after Wednesday’s win he is now 5-0 with a 1.20 goals against average and .962 SV% in elimination games in these playoffs.
Through the first six games, the players you would expect to light up the scoresheet have done so. Marian Gaborik has been excellent all round, he has five goals and three assists and last night was the only game he did no score in. His lineman Anze Kopitar has been equally as impressive. He has seven assists this round, which gives him a league leading 17 points in the playoffs. For the Ducks it is all about Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Getzlaf is getting the job done with seven points (1G / 6A), but Perry is having a much harder time racking up points. The emergence of Devante Smith-Pelly has been huge. He has three goals, including the game-winner in game four.
Puck-drop is at 9:00 p.m ET on Friday and I like the Kings to advance to the Western Conference Finals for a date with the Chicago Blackhawks. I like the Kings because of their experience. They have been on this stage a number of times in the last few years, plus heading into a game seven, you have to go with Quick over Gibson.