Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/17/14 at 10:13 AM ET
KINGS OUST DUCKS IN FIRST ‘FREEWAY FACE-OFF’ . . .
The Kings raced to a 5-0 lead, sparked by first-period goals from Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, and held on to eliminate the Ducks in the first-ever playoff series between the Southern California rivals.
* The Kings improved to 8-2 in elimination games since 2011, including a 6-0 mark in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other teams in NHL history have won six or more elimination games in a single postseason: the 1975 Islanders (8) and 2003 Wild (6).
* Elias also says the Kings became the sixth team in NHL history to register two Game 7 road victories in one playoff year, following their 5-1 win at the Sharks in Game 7 of the First Round. The others to do so: the 1971 Canadiens (at BOS and CHI), 2003 Wild (at COL and VAN), 2009 Hurricanes (at NJ and BOS), 2009 Penguins (at WSH and DET) and 2010 Canadiens (at WSH and PIT).
* After losing Games 3-5, the Kings overcame a 3-2 series deficit for the fifth time in franchise history. The other such instances: the 1969 QF vs. OAK, 1989 DSF vs. EDM, 1993 CF vs. TOR and 2014 First Round vs. SJ.
* Jonathan Quick made 25 stops, including a penalty-shot save on Corey Perry at 14:08 of the first period, to improve to 3-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and .957 save percentage in three career Game 7s.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked just the second penalty shot in a Game 7 in NHL history. The other: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford denied Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows in Game 7 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals (VAN won 2-1 in OT).
* Quick also improved to 6-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and one shutout in the six games in which the Kings have faced elimination this postseason. He has allowed one or fewer goals in four of those six contests.
* Williams registered 1-1—2 to improve to 6-0 in six career Game 7s. He now has 6-6—12 in those contests, tied for second in NHL history in both goals and points in Game 7s. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Glenn Anderson (7) holds the record for most career goals in Game 7s, while Doug Gilmour (13) owns the record for most career points.
* Anze Kopitar (1-1—2) found the scoresheet for the 13th time in the Kings’ 14 postseason games and leads the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in both assists (14) and points (19). He also has recorded at least one point in 16 of his past 17 outings dating to the regular season (9-15—24).
* Marian Gaborik (1-1—2) scored his League-leading ninth goal of the postseason (14 GP), matching a career high set in 2003 (18 GP). He also improved to 6-0 in six career Game 7s, totaling 2-3—5.
* Richards (1-1—2) posted his third career playoff game-winning goal and first since May 3, 2012 (vs. STL). He, too, improved to 6-0 in six career Game 7s, collecting 1-4—5.
* Carter (1-1—2) and Kyle Clifford (0-2—2) also recorded multi-point games for the Kings, who improved to 8-3 in their last 11 games, including a 5-1 mark on the road.
. . . SET UP REMATCH IN WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
The Kings now will face the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final for the second straight season. Chicago won in five games in 2013; in the fifth and deciding contest, Mike Richards scored the tying goal with 9.4 seconds remaining in regulation before Patrick Kane completed his hat trick with the series-clinching marker at 11:40 of double-overtime. This marks the third all-time postseason meeting between the Kings and Blackhawks. Their other matchup was in the 1974 Quarterfinals, won by Chicago in five games.
* This marks the first time the Western Conference Final has featured the same opponents in consecutive years since 1999 and 2000, when the Stars twice defeated the Avalanche to advance to the Stanley Cup Final (DAL won F vs. BUF in 1999, lost F vs. NJ in 2000).
Game 7 marked the end of a Hall-of-Fame, 21-season NHL career for Ducks forward Teemu Selanne. The 43-year-old Finn ranks 11th in League history in goals (684) and 15th in points (1,457). He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2006-07 and also captured the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1992-93, Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 1998-99 and Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2005-06.
“It was very disappointing. I knew it was either going to be an unbelievable party or disappointment. This time it wasn’t the party. It’s very disappointing. It’s a funny game. We had our chances. We just couldn’t take advantage of them. That’s the way it goes,” Selanne said afterward. “But I want to look at the big picture and enjoy this game, my teammates, the fans and the organization. Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect to have a career like this. I’m very thankful.”
DID YOU KNOW?
* Teams that scored first went 26-1 (.963) in the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blackhawks (in Game 5 vs. MIN) were the only club to earn a win when yielding the first goal.
* According to ESPN Stats & Information, no division champion advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That year, the Canadiens defeated the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final (the last championship by MTL).
* The final regular-season rankings of the four teams in the 2014 Conference Finals: No. 7 Blackhawks, No. 9 Canadiens, No. 10 Kings and No. 12 Rangers.
* A California-based team advanced to the Western Conference Final for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons.
* The Kings became the first team to make three consecutive trips to the Conference Finals since the Red Wings from 2007-09.
2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE
Among the more than half-million entries for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Can-Am Spyder on NHL.com, 12% predicted the Kings would face the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. Only 1,377 brackets (less than 1%) correctly picked all four teams for the Conference Finals.
CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE
The NHL announced the dates, starting times and broadcast information for the 2014 Conference Finals. Click here for the full details.
OFFICIALS FOR CONFERENCE FINALS
The NHL also announced the officials for the 2014 Conference Finals:
Linesmen: Derek Amell, Steve Barton, Scott Driscoll, Shane Heyer, Brad Kovachik, Steve Miller, Jonny Murray, Pierre Racicot
Referees: Dave Jackson, Marc Joannette, Steve Kozari, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran, Dan O’Rourke, Kevin Pollock, Brad Watson
Standbys: Eric Furlatt, Brian Murphy
FALLON, CANADIENS AGREE TO BET
Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” agreed to a friendly wager with the Canadiens based on the outcome of the Eastern Conference Final. The stakes: if Montreal wins, Fallon will wear a Canadiens jersey during one of his monologues. If New York wins, the Canadiens will change their Twitter avatar (@CanadiensMTL) to a photo of Fallon’s choosing for one day, plus outfit their famed mascot, Youppi!, in a Rangers jersey and post 10 different pictures of him walking around Montreal showing it off.
Click here for the full story.
The Kings improved to 6-4 all-time in Game 7s, including three consecutive victories. The Ducks fell to 2-4 . . . Celebrating his 29th birthday, Ducks forward Corey Perry scored his fourth goal of the playoffs and the 22nd of his postseason career . . . Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf registered the primary assist on Perry’s goal. Getzlaf found the scoresheet in nine of his 12 playoff appearances, posting a team-leading 4-11—15, tied for second in the NHL.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Montreal, Game 1, 1:00 p.m., NBC, CBC, RDS
above information was provided by the NHL PR department
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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