Hockey’s version of the Freeway Series goes to the L.A. Kings, as they completed yet another series comeback against a California rival in these Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of 6-2 on Friday, taking the second-round series in seven games.
Once again, the Kings were facing elimination, after falling behind the Ducks three-games-to-two, but fought back to force a deciding game before completely overpowering Anaheim when it mattered the most.
It wasn’t quite as impressive as falling behind the San Jose Sharks 3-0 in the first round, before winning the next four games to take that series in historical fashion.
The Kings, in these playoffs, have gone through a few trends now: They lost three in a row to San Jose, then won four straight to close that series out. Then, they won the first two games of this series against the Ducks, before losing three in a row. They’re back to a two-game winning streak, as they now turn their attention to the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s a rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Final, which the Blackhawks advanced from in their championship season. L.A. is off to the conference finals for a third straight year.
But the Kings-Ducks Game 7 was, for a few anxious moments late in the second period and into the third, was a blowout. The Kings jumped out to an early lead thanks to Justin Williams and his sixth goal in six career Game 7s.
The Kings, up 3-0 at the conclusion of the opening period on goals from Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, increased their lead to four goals early in the second period, ending 20-year-old rookie goalie John Gibson’s evening.