The final Battle of California in these Stanley Cup playoffs will have one, final clash.
The L.A. Kings can make it back to the Western Conference Final for a third consecutive time, after they forced a seventh and decisive game in their second-round series with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. The Kings, needing a win to extend the series, held on, especially in the final two minutes, to defeat Anaheim by a final score of 2-1.
The Kings were down 3-0 in their opening round series to San Jose, came back to win. Again, they found themselves facing elimination after losing three consecutive games to the Ducks, but found a way to push this series to the limit.
Trevor Lewis scored the winner on a wrist shot that somehow beat John Gibson in the second period. As great as the 20-year-old Anaheim goalie has been since coming into this series in Game 4, this was one he’d probably like to have back. The shot somehow found room between his legs and rolled over the goal line, giving L.A. a two-goal lead at the time.
Kyle Palmieri got one back for the Ducks late in the second period, but Jonathan Quick was unbeatable in the third period, especially when it got frantic around his net with Anaheim pressing for the equalizer.
The Ducks also couldn’t take advantage of a late third-period power play. Home ice advantage has been a peculiar element in this series.
The road team won each of the first four games in this series, before the Ducks took Game 5 in their building and the Kings took Game 6 at the Staples Center.
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.