Skip to content

PHT Morning Skate: Battle for California ends tonight

May 16, 2014, 8:06 AM EST

Jonathan Quick Jonathan Quick

Game 7: Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks [Series tied at 3-3] (9:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Los Angeles Kings have already faced elimination five times in the 2014 playoffs. Can they survive a sixth time?

“When you’ve done special things together, you have the confidence no matter what happens to do that again,” Kings forward Mike Richards said, per NHL.com. “That’s a big thing in playoffs. When you’re down in a game, down in the series, you’ve been through comebacks and good things with the guy beside you, it is a good thing to lean on.”

If this game comes down to who has the most experience, then the Kings are likely to come out on top.

The Ducks aren’t a fresh faced team. Not only do they have 43-year-old Teemu Selanne, but their two biggest offensive contributors — Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — can both still remember raising the Stanley Cup in 2007. However, many of the Ducks’ secondary scorers and some of their key defensemen are still pretty young. More importantly, they’ve been leaning on 20-year-old goaltender John Gibson, who had just three games worth of NHL experience going into this series.

He’s one of the main reasons the Ducks have made it this far in the series despite a mistake in Game 6 that cost Anaheim dearly.

At least it doesn’t sound like it impacted his confidence.

“Yeah, it was just one shot,” Gibson said. “Missed it. It happens.”

Gibson might be the least experienced when it comes to handling the pressure of a Game 7, but it’s crunch time for everyone.

For Selanne, it’s a chance to extend his career so that his final act as a player isn’t congratulating the rival Kings. For Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, it’s an opportunity to finally make it to a conference final. For Kings forward Marian Gaborik, it’s about preserving his shot at winning the Stanley Cup for the first time before he faces the uncertainty of the free agent period.

The winner of this game will establish themselves as the top team in California this year and set their sights on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Latest Posts
  1. Devils’ coaching situation still has many, um, ‘variables’

    Dec 29, 2014, 12:40 AM EST

    Lou Lamoriello, Adam Oates, Scott Stevens AP

    GM and interim bench boss Lou Lamoriello’s making it up as he goes along.

  2. Boudreau has no clue when Perry may return

    Dec 29, 2014, 12:09 AM EST

    Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five Getty Images

    “I don’t even know anymore.”

  3. Ducks’ defense steps up in OT win vs. Canucks

    Dec 28, 2014, 11:12 PM EST

    Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Literally, in the case of Cam Fowler’s game-winning goal.

  4. Kane is questionable for Jets on Monday

    Dec 28, 2014, 10:03 PM EST

    evanderk9 Getty Images

    Winnipeg recalled Patrice Cormier in case the power forward can’t play.

  5. Bergeron, Lucic are day-to-day for struggling Bruins

    Dec 28, 2014, 8:57 PM EST

    Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

    Head coach Claude Julien has some choice words for his team.

  6. Cardiac Cats: Panthers win as Reimer, Leafs fade in third

    Dec 28, 2014, 8:09 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Florida’s breathing down Toronto’s neck in the East standings.

  7. Leafs lose Panik to upper-body injury

    Dec 28, 2014, 7:05 PM EST

    richardp Getty Images

    There are some concussion concerns.

  8. All Varlamov: Avalanche send Pickard to AHL

    Dec 28, 2014, 6:25 PM EST

    Calvin Pickard AP

    Reto Berra might not see much action going forward.

  9. Report: Blues’ Elliott medically cleared to play

    Dec 28, 2014, 5:30 PM EST

    Brian Elliott Brian Elliott

    Has been out of St. Louis’ lineup since Nov. 25.

  10. Carter Ashton returns to Leafs’ lineup

    Dec 28, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    carterashtongetty Getty Images

    Playing for the first time since Nov. 4

  11. Report: Blackhawks’ Richards to return Monday

    Dec 28, 2014, 4:15 PM EST

    Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Has missed three games with an upper body injury.

  12. Letang, Hornqvist miss Pens’ practice

    Dec 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    The forward will miss a few weeks with a lower body injury.

  13. Leafs place Komarov on IR (Updated)

    Dec 28, 2014, 2:45 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson from AHL.

  14. Islanders activate Halak from IR

    Dec 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Kevin Poulin returned to Bridgeport.

  15. Predators place Derek Roy on waivers

    Dec 28, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    Derek Roy Derek Roy

    Boston’s Matt Fraser also on the waiver wire.

  16. Steve Ott offers advice for Stars’ Ryan Garbutt

    Dec 28, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    ryangarbuttgetty Getty Images

    The Dallas forward has been suspended three times in two seasons.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Perry (2452)
  2. B. Bishop (2307)
  3. B. Elliott (1889)
  4. J. Halak (1799)
  5. S. Weiss (1740)
  1. N. Kronwall (1638)
  2. S. Varlamov (1604)
  3. J. Schwartz (1501)
  4. S. Crosby (1449)
  5. J. Howard (1338)