Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings - 5/16/14
Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8)
NHL Hockey: Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Honda Center)
The Line: Anaheim Ducks / Los Angeles Kings --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Kings and Ducks do battle for the final time on Friday night in a do or die game seven less than 24 hours after the Kings knotted the series at three games apiece.
The Los Angeles Kings moved to a perfect 5-0 when facing elimination in the 2014 NHL playoffs as they forced a deciding game seven with a must win on home ice on Thursday by a 2-1 final. The Kings fought off a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round to the Sharks and carried that momentum over to their Western Conference semi-finals series here with the Ducks by taking the first two contests but a three game slide had them with their backs against the wall once again. The Kings played a very solid contest at the Staples Center on Wednesday night and Jonathan Quick was brilliant once again as he is known to do in elimination situations and if the Kings are going to pull off another series come back and win their second game seven on the road of these playoffs than Quick is going to have to be outstanding once again. Los Angeles didn’t have to put up much offensively as their two goals that beat rookie goaltender John Gibson was more than enough and if they can rattle the youngster in his game seven debut then they have a very real shot at wrapping up this series.
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The Ducks squandered an opportunity to advance to the Western Conference finals after losing a heartbreaker on the road in Los Angeles on Wednesday but they get a shot at redemption on Friday night this time back at the Honda Center. Anaheim was the best team in the West during the regular season and as such they have earned the right to lay claim to home ice advantage in this deciding game seven but between these two teams it hasn’t played much a factor so far. Anaheim dropped the first two games of this series at home before responding with three straight wins including games three and four in LA so the whole angle of home ice “advantage” has become obsolete here although a game seven energy could be very different. This is going to be an exciting contest between two of the league’s best and while the Ducks were the better of the teams in the regular season this Kings team is built for postseason success and I expect them to come out and show why they’re considered one of the most resilient teams in the league. Anaheim will have a rookie goaltender in net and while Gibson has played very well he has yet to face elimination and I expect the pressure will be immense and I think the road team capitalizes.