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.”
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 8
- Your Lightning-Rangers Game 7 officials are… 1
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 39
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 12
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 45
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 16
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 8
- Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery 6
- Report: Sens’ Murray to retire after next season 1
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)