Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Get your Game 7 notes: Kings at Ducks

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Los Angeles Kings at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Kings and Ducks will meet in the sixth Game 7 of the 2014 playoffs, and third of the second round. The road team is 4-1 in Game 7s so far in 2014. Since the playoffs went to best-of-seven series in all rounds in 1987, it is only the third time that four road teams won Game 7s in a single postseason (previously done in 2009 and 2010). Never have five road teams won in a single postseason.

• The Kings became the fourth team in Stanley Cup playoff history to win four straight games after falling behind three-games-to-none, in their first-round series vs. San Jose. Then, they won Game 6 vs. Anaheim, down three-games-to-two. If they win Game 7 tonight, they will become only the third team in history to win six straight games when facing elimination in one postseason. The N.Y. Islanders won eight straight in 1975 and the Minnesota Wild won six straight in 2003. Elias Sports Bureau

• Kings winger Justin Williams has never lost in a Game 7 (5-0) and has figured prominently in each of his team’s Game 7 wins (See table). Williams (5-5–10) has the game-winning goal in two games, an assist on the game-winning goal in two others, and an empty-net goal that clinched a Stanley Cup title.

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• The Ducks’ 20-year-old goaltender, John Gibson (2-1, 1.69 GAA, .946 save%, one shutout), will join a select group when he starts Game 7 in his first-ever playoff series. Only Harry Lumley (DET, 1945), Patrick Roy (MTL, 1986), Jim Carey (WSH, 1995) and Carey Price (MTL, 2008) previously started a Game 7 in their first-ever playoff series before turning 21. Lumley, Roy and Price all won.

• Kings winger Marian Gaborik, who is also 5-0 all-time in Game 7s (2-0 with Minnesota, 2-0 with the N.Y. Rangers, 1-0 with L.A.), leads the playoffs in goals, with eight. Five of those goals have come in this series. Only one other player has scored five times in a postseason series in 2014: Colorado center Paul Stastny, in the first round vs. Minnesota. (The Avalanche lost in seven games.)

• Only one Anaheim player, center Saku Koivu, has a winning career record (2-1) in Game 7s, with both wins coming with Montreal vs. Boston (2004, 2008). Four current Ducks were on the squad that last won a Game 7 for the franchise, in 2006: forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne (who scored the game-winning goal in a 3-0 win vs. CGY) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Selanne was also on the winning side the only other time Anaheim won a Game 7, in 1997 vs. PHX.

• Kings center Anze Kopitar, who leads the playoffs in scoring (4-13–17), has not scored a goal this series, but has contributed in other ways. He leads all players with seven assists (including five in L.A.’s three wins) and a +4 rating. In Games 5 and 6, he went 16/19 (84.2%) on faceoffs vs. Ducks center (and fellow Selke Trophy finalist) Ryan Getzlaf after going 20/43 (46.5%) in Games 1-4.

Sharks swarm in the third period, take down Predators in Game 1

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For two periods, the San Jose Sharks couldn’t solve Pekka Rinne.

Maybe it was because of that black cat that found its way on to the ice prior to the start of Friday’s game, or the video review that didn’t go in San Jose’s favor in the opening period.

But that all changed in the final period. It started with Tomas Hertl on the power play finding room just under the glove of Rinne to get San Jose on the board. Joel Ward followed that up with a gorgeous deke, tucking the puck in behind Rinne just as he started to go behind the net, as San Jose was able to take advantage of a defensive breakdown.

Logan Couture added the eventual winner. Within the span of 13 minutes, the Sharks had completely taken over, cashing in on two Nashville penalties and a defensive lapse.

When the onslaught was over, the Sharks skated off with a 5-2 win in Game 1 of this second-round series with the Predators, who only wrapped up a seven-game series win over Anaheim on Wednesday.

Ryan Johansen made it interesting, cutting into San Jose’s lead with under two minutes remaining, but any further comeback attempt was quickly halted by a pair of empty net goals from the Sharks.

The game ended with a dust-up along the boards, before cooler heads did prevail.

Another North Dakota junior goes pro as Blackhawks sign Luke Johnson

Quinnipiac forward Tommy Schutt, left, moves the puck as North Dakota forward Luke Johnson, middle, checks Quinnipiac forward Travis St. Denis during the first period of an NCAA college hockey tournament game Friday, March 27, 2015, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota won 4-1. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy)
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Another day, another University of North Dakota player deciding to enter the professional hockey ranks.

This time, it was 21-year-old forward Luke Johnson who turned pro following his junior year, as he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

In 43 games with the NCAA champs this season, Johnson scored 11 goals and 21 points, just shy of his college career high of 24 points set the previous year.

Johnson will forgo his senior year at North Dakota, making him the fourth member of that program’s junior class to turn pro since the end of the season. Keaton Thompson signed with the Anaheim Ducks, Troy Stecher inked with the Vancouver Canucks and Paul LaDue signed with the L.A. Kings.

Senior forward Drake Caggiula, now a free agent, has reportedly narrowed down his list of NHL suitors to six teams.

Brock Boeser, Vancouver’s 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.

Video: Black cat hits the ice before Sharks-Predators Game 1

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Perhaps it’s an ominous sign of bad luck to come, but for which team?

Prior to puck drop between the host San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Friday, a black cat hit the ice at SAP Center, taking a nervous stroll along the boards.

Not sure exactly where it came from, although it’s possible someone was feeling extra superstitious before the start of this series.

Official update on the really important story of the evening:

Speed, skill help Stars score late victory to take series lead over Blues

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The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.

Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.

As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.

The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.

Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.

Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.