The Los Angeles Kings “weren’t supposed” to come back from a 0-3 deficit against the San Jose Sharks in round one. Down some defensemen and undoubtedly a little winded from that clash with San Jose, it seemed like they were supposed to lose to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 on Saturday.
… But that’s why you acquire players like Marian Gaborik. It wasn’t enough for the talented winger (and pending unrestricted free agent) to score the game-tying goal with just seven seconds left; he also scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Kings a 3-2 OT win and 1-0 series lead.
While the shots were close to even (36-35 for the Kings), there were times that Los Angeles seemed addled, yet they scraped out a win that could be crucial over the long haul.
Here’s video of the game-tying goal with some interesting details:
And here’s footage of that overtime-clincher:
Let’s look at other facets of tonight’s game:
Getting testy early
With little surprise, things got heated between the two in-state rivals, with this exchange ranking among the most heated:
While Robyn Regehr seemingly suffered an injury he couldn’t return from – the Kings unsurprisingly weren’t forthcoming about it – other players managed to shake off ailments and even contribute on the offensive and/or defensive side. Ryan Getzlaf stood out in that regard:
Ducks control certain spans of play
Chalk it up to fatigue or two strong teams refusing to give up space against each other, but there were some moments when offense was definitely difficult to come by. Much was made about the Kings failing to register a shot on goal for more than 17 minutes of game time (though the exact amount of time seemed to be in question).
Teemu Selanne scored a big goal – and his first of the playoffs – thanks to this move on Jonathan Quick:
The Ducks carried much of the play through the first chunk of overtime, but there were heroic moments like these:
Ultimately, it came down to huge breakthroughs in desperation moments for the Kings. Game 2 of this series takes place in Anaheim on Monday on NBCSN. If the Kings show us anything, it’s that a series often boasts plenty of highs and lows, so stay tuned.