May 11, 2013, 2:36 AM EDT
The L.A. Kings are on to the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
But nothing about their first-round victory over the St. Louis Blues was a guarantee. The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, closed out the Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarter-final thanks to a 2-1 win on home ice Friday.
All six games were decided by one goal and all six games were physically punishing. The Kings found themselves down two-games-to-none early in the series, before finding their winning ways that led to their dominant championship last spring.
“It’s not easy,” Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter told NHL.com.
“There was a lot of pressure on our players. I’ve said all year, they’ve handled it really well. They had a tough hole, this series.
“We’re beat up and tired and we’ll practice on Sunday and know by Monday who we’ll play.”
One thing is for sure when it comes to the Kings’ next opponent: there will be less travel.
“I’m going to sit back and watch and see who we play,” Kings’ forward Mike Richards told the L.A. Times.
“Both teams obviously have world-class players and world-class goaltenders, so it’s going to be tough either way.”
- Hall of Famer Al Arbour passes away 20
- Poll: Who will be San Jose’s next captain? 24
- It’s San Jose Sharks Day at PHT 25
- Mike Richards charged with possession of controlled substance 95
- Gio won’t go: Flames extend Giordano for six years, $40.5M 13
- Pens’ plan for now: Crosby starts as Kessel’s center 25
- O, Dear: Russia fined $85K for skipping Canadian anthem 31
- Kings ink Ehrhoff to a one-year, $1.5 million deal 27
- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Here’s the full NHL 2015 preseason schedule, starting Sept. 20 5