Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Five

Get your Game 7 notes: Kings at Ducks

1 Comment

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.


• 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.

The Panthers are healthy scratching Bolland, and he is their highest-paid forward, but they insist they’re not sending a message

Dave Bolland, Derek Nansen
Leave a comment

It feels like there’s a story brewing in Florida, where Dave Bolland — the team’s most-expensive forward, at $5.5 million a season — has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games.

But according to head coach Gerard Gallant, there’s nothing to see here. Move along.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Gallant said, per the Miami Herald. “He sat out, our team is playing well. There’s nothing more than that. We have to sit two guys and I like the way we’re playing. The next game is a different game. We may change something up, who knows.”

Bolland had just one goal and five points in 18 games prior to getting parked in the press box. Well, technically he got dropped to the fourth line before hitting the press box, but you get the idea. He’s not exactly in Gallant’s good graces.

Not helping Bolland’s case is the fact that, as Gallant pointed out, the club is playing pretty well without him. The Panthers have rebounded from a rough start to November by winning back-to-back games against the Islanders and Red Wings, which set them up nicely for the remainder of this current five-game road swing.

Florida has games still to play in St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus and New Jersey. It’ll be interesting to see when — or, if — he draws back into the lineup.

In closing, a reminder that Bolland’s in the second of a five-year, $27.5 million deal.

Canucks rookie Virtanen exits with upper-body injury, won’t return

1 Comment

After sitting out Friday’s game in Dallas, Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen had to be excited at drawing back in for tonight’s game against the Ducks.

Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long.

Virtanen suffered an upper-body injury after playing just 1:45 in the opening frame, and was ruled out of the contest during the intermission. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but it looks like Virtanen was injured on a hit by Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Virtanen didn’t take another shift following the incident, and Getzlaf was given a minor penalty on the play.

While we don’t know what the injury is or it’s severity, losing Virtanen for any length of time would have ramifications for the Canucks and this year’s Canadian entry at the World Juniors. There has been talk of Virtanen possibly being released by the Canucks to participate in the tournament; last year, he was part of the team that captured gold in Montreal and Toronto.

Virtanen has played in 18 games for the Canucks this year, scoring one goal and four points while averaging 10:17 TOI per night.

McLellan sounds off on Oilers after shutout loss in Toronto

Todd McLellan

Edmonton lost for the fourth time in five games on Monday, a 3-0 defeat in Toronto that marked the second time in a week the Oilers have been shut out.

Needless to say, the head coach wasn’t happy.

In a fairly blunt and harsh assessment aimed at a variety of players, Todd McLellan had some choice words for what he called a “disappointing” effort.

Some of the more choice quotes:

“I didn’t think we were a very hard team. I didn’t think we stood over a lot of pucks. I didn’t think we won a lot of battles along the boards. I didn’t think we were competitive enough in a lot of areas.”

“When I look at the trip as a whole, we had some key, key people really under-perform on the trip. Significant minus numbers, not hitting the score sheet. It can’t always be the [Leon DraisaitlTaylor Hall line] that provides that.”

It’s fair to suggest that last one was directed at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.

Nugent-Hopkins has just two points and zero goals in his last five games, with a minus-8 rating. Eberle is pointless entirely, and also at minus-8 over the same stretch.

They’re hardly the only Oilers not pulling their weight at the moment, however. Edmonton has lost 15 times in its first 25 games, a figure that suggests there are more problems that just a couple of underachieving forwards.

Just ask McLellan, who all but admitted his team has issues matching up.

“We’re not where we need to be,” he said. “We’ve got work to do as a team, work to do as an organization to get bigger, stronger, harder, and physically win more battles than we lose.”

Roy: Avs ‘need, expect more’ from Varlamov


The tough times continue for Semyon Varlamov.

After another unsuccessful outing on Monday — allowing four goals on 27 shots in a loss to the Islanders — Varlamov was subjected to a familiar refrain: Patrick Roy saying the Avs need more from their No. 1 netminder.


You can hear all of the head coach’s comments in the video above but, for brevity’s sake, here’s the Varlamov stuff:

“It’s not easy for him. Obviously we need that extra save and we didn’t get it on the road. It’s hard to win if you’re giving four goals on the road.

“We just need more from him. He’s our No. 1 guy and we’re behind him, but we need, we expect more from him.”

There has to be serious concern about Varlamov right now, if there wasn’t already.

His save percentage through seven games in November (.891) is marginally better than it was through seven games in October (.889), and that’s not the only alarming stat. Varlamov’s yet to record a shutout this year, yet to record back-to-back victories and has given up at least three goals in six of his last seven starts.

Not good.

Compounding things for Colorado are the standings. The Avs are now 9-14-1 and mired in the Central Division basement, meaning that — if they have any hope of going on a tear and getting back into playoff content — they’ll need to do it soon.

Which means they might not have the time, or the patience, for Varlamov to find his game.