Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 West Semi-Final:
Game 2 @ Anaheim
May 5, 2014
7pm PST (10pm EST)
After their thrilling come-from-behind win on Saturday, the Los Angeles Kings hope to go up 2-0 in their West Semi-Final series with the Anaheim Ducks before heading home with a great deal of home-ice advantage. But the Ducks, who finished first in the Pacific in the regular season, are not willing to go down without a fight.
While surrendering their lead in the final seconds of regulation before their overtime loss was deflating, the Ducks know they have all the right tools to bounce back at home. After all, they lost just 12 games at the Honda Center all season, boasting one of the best home-ice records in the league. The Los Angeles Kings, however, won four-straight games entering the second round before handing Anaheim their first loss at home in these playoffs. And the Kings are not willing to stop there.
In Game 1, Alec Martinez, who had been an integral part of his team’s success late in the season, scored his first goal of the postseason for the Kings on Saturday. Anze Kopitar also continued his hot spring as he assisted on all three Los Angeles goals. Even Marian Gaborik has turned his game up a notch since Game 3 of the San Jose series. On Saturday, he tied the game in the dying seconds before scoring the winner in overtime.
The Kings, however, will need to watch for Matt Beleskey, who scored for Anaheim on Saturday. The young forward has had enough success against the Kings this season and Saturday further proved that. Ryan Getzlaf also added a pair of assists while Teemu Selanne proved he still has that magic touch at 43 by scoring himself. If the silver-and-black hope to extend their series lead, all three of the aforementioned will need to be contained.
In goal, both netminders were top-notch in Game 1. Despite not starting a single game last round, Jonas Hiller proved very reliable for the Ducks in Game 1, making 34 saves in a losing effort. Jonathan Quick, meanwhile, also had a plethora of success on Saturday, stopping 33 shots, including a few important ones in overtime, to help with the win.
On a negative note, the Kings lost defenseman Robyn Regehr in Game 1 with an apparent lower-body injury. Already without Willie Mitchell, Los Angeles will miss the services of Regehr for Game 2. In his place will be 28-year-old blueliner Jeff Schultz who, despite signing with the club last summer, will be making his Kings debut on Monday. He scored 13 points in 67 games in Manchester this season but it's his 6-foot-6, 227-pound frame that should give Schultz an advantage in Game 2. We'll see how he does.
In Game 1, it was a successful invasion, if you will, by Kings’ fans as they seemed to out-cheer the hometown fans at the Honda Center. Perhaps the aid of the seventh man is what gave the silver-and-black that extra initiative to score the W. Regardless, fans of the Los Angeles Kings will be looking to do the exact same thing on Monday night for Game 2.
It should be a fun one.
Enjoy the game!