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Sat, 17 May 2014 09:09:35 +0000
(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- Justin Williams scored four and a half minutes in to the start of Game Seven and the Los Angeles Kings never looked back. Six different players scored as the Kings polished off the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 to advance to their third straight Western Conference Finals.
"I think we just focused on trying to have a good start," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. "If you score the first goal it's been an advantage in this series."
So far in the NHL Playoffs, the team that scores first has won 25 of 26 games. Los Angeles has also won six straight games this postseason when facing elimination, including rallying from down 3-0 in their opening round series with San Jose.
The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and added another goal thanks to Anze Kopitar just two minutes into the second. That chased rookie goalkeeper John Gibson but a change in net did not deter Los Angeles. Marion Gaborik would eventually score on Jonas Hiller to make the score 5-0 before Anaheim finally got on the board thanks to Kyle Palmieri.
Jonathan Quick allowed just two goals and made 25 saves in the win. Los Angeles will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks for the second consecutive season. The Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2012.
Friday's game also marked the end of the career of Anaheim's Teemu Selanne. Affectionately known as "The Finnish Flash", Selanne played 15 of his 21 season with the Ducks and helped bring the franchise its only championship in 2007. Both teams stayed on the ice following the game as fans in Anaheim saluted the soon-to-be retired forward.
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