May 16, 2014, 8:06 AM EDT
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.
Oct 25, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
Maybe the headline should read goaltending optional instead?
Oct 25, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
Dougie Hamilton’s had a strong night.
Oct 25, 2014, 8:57 PM EDT
Challenging night for Tampa Bay.
Oct 25, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Things didn’t look particularly “right” on Saturday.
Oct 25, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT
Oct 25, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT
Habs face Chris Kreider, David Backes vs. Brent Seabrook on Saturday.
Oct 25, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT
Yikes on so many levels.
Oct 25, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT
Patric Hornqvist plays in Nashville as a visitor for the first time.
Oct 25, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
The 21-year-old was recalled Friday.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
No penalty on the play.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
The rookie defensmen were recalled Friday.
Oct 25, 2014, 4:02 PM EDT
A rematch of last spring’s playoff series.
Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Suffered a skate cut to his right eyelid Friday night.
Oct 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
Antti Raanta and Brian Elliott go head-to-head as the Blackhawks and Blues battle in St. Louis.
Oct 25, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
The coach was quick to call home following Wednesday’s practice.
Oct 25, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Habs’ starter was injured in Game 1 of last spring’s Eastern Conference final against New York.
Oct 25, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
Josh Bailey placed on IR.
Oct 25, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
Anthems will be played from Ottawa to the buildings in Montreal and Toronto.
Oct 25, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT
San Jose hosts Buffalo in a Saturday matinee
Oct 25, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT
Stars overcome controversial goal call for win in New Jersey.
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