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Kings dominate Ducks to advance to Western final

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 17 2014 12:20:04 AM CDT
Updated On: May 17 2014 01:09:02 PM CDT
Kings Ducks final

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- An overwhelming start by the Los Angeles Kings put a quick and crushing finish to the Anaheim Ducks.

Three first-period goals paved the way as the Kings coasted with a 6-2 drubbing of the cross-town rival Ducks in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series before a sellout crowd of 17,395 at Honda Center on Friday night.

"I don't think anyone expected it to be that high scoring," said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who had a goal and an assist. "We got on a roll and we took off after that. We knew this would have to be our best game of the series, and I think it was."

With the win, the Kings advanced for the third year in a row to the conference final, where they will meet the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. Game 1 is Sunday at the United Center.

"It feels good now, but we've got one goal in mind," Kopitar said.

Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots, while Ducks rookie netminder John Gibson gave up four goals on 18 shots in a little more than a period before being replaced by Jonas Hiller at 2:02 of the second. Hiller finished with 10 saves.

"No one had to be great," said Los Angeles right winger Justin Williams, who is 6-0 in his career in Game 7's. "Everybody just has to be good. We were all good tonight."

Williams gave the Kings a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:30 of the first period and the rout was on.

"Sometimes, that's the way it happens," said Williams, who has five goals in the postseason, of the fast start. "You get a team that comes out early and has momentum and doesn't score goals and the other team scores a goal. We were able to capitalize on our chances.

"The thing I'm most proud of is the 6-0 record in Game 7 and the fact that we're moving on."

Center Jeff Carter made it 2-0, converting a breakaway just four minutes later.

A hooking penalty by defenseman Drew Doughty on a breakaway by Anaheim's Corey Perry earned the Ducks right winger a penalty shot with 5:52 left in the first. However, Quick stuffed Perry's attempt.

Center Mike Richards rebounded a miss by left winger Dwight King and banged it past Gibson for a 3-0 advantage with 4:48 remaining in the period.

"The first period was like men against boys, quite frankly," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They were bigger, stronger, faster and seemed more determined. We were on our heels."

Kopitar scored just 2:02 into the second period, firing a wrist shot and ending Gibson's night.

Right winger Marian Gaborik scored his ninth postseason goal on a power play with 5:52 remaining in the second period for a 5-0 lead.

The Ducks got on the board with 2:58 left in the second when right winger Kyle Palmieri scored on a pass from behind the net by center Andrew Cogliano to cut the deficit to 5-1. Perry added a goal early in the third period to make it 5-2, but that was it for the Ducks.

"They came out and got some quick goals and never really looked back," Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf said. "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."

Left winger Tanner Pearson scored the Kings' final goal on an assist from Carter with 6:06 remaining the game.

The loss ended the career of 43-year-old Ducks right winger Teemu Selanne, who is retiring. Selanne was given a rousing ovation at the end, with the Kings staying on the ice to show their respect for the "Finnish Flash."

"It was unbelievable," Selanne said about the Kings. "It was so much respect."

NOTES: The team that scored first won each game of the series. ... The Kings outshot Anaheim 16-6 in the opening period. ... Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is 1-5 in Game 7 contests, while the Ducks are 2-4. They lost a 3-2 decision to the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round last year. ... The Kings are 6-4 all-time in Game 7. Their previous one to Friday's win occurred in the opening round against the San Jose Sharks. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter is 6-3 in Game 7. ... Ducks RW Corey Perry, who turned 29 on Friday, surpassed Rob Niedermayer for fourth in career playoff appearances with 74. ... Kings C Anze Kopitar has points in 13 of the last 14 postseason contests. ... Los Angeles RW Marian Gaborik has 14 points in the last 12 games. ... Anaheim RW Devante Smith-Pelly had scored a goal in three straight previous games, but failed to score in Game 7.