Kings ‘beat up and tired’ after tough series win over Blues

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The L.A. Kings are on to the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

But nothing about their first-round victory over the St. Louis Blues was a guarantee. The Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, closed out the Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarter-final thanks to a 2-1 win on home ice Friday.

All six games were decided by one goal and all six games were physically punishing. The Kings found themselves down two-games-to-none early in the series, before finding their winning ways that led to their dominant championship last spring.

“It’s not easy,” Kings’ head coach Darryl Sutter told NHL.com.

“There was a lot of pressure on our players. I’ve said all year, they’ve handled it really well. They had a tough hole, this series.

“We’re beat up and tired and we’ll practice on Sunday and know by Monday who we’ll play.”

One thing is for sure when it comes to the Kings’ next opponent: there will be less travel.

“I’m going to sit back and watch and see who we play,” Kings’ forward Mike Richards told the L.A. Times.

“Both teams obviously have world-class players and world-class goaltenders, so it’s going to be tough either way.”