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LA Kings eliminate rival Anaheim Ducks, continue Game 7 mastery

LA Kings show Ducks why they're playoff powers
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Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, right, celebrates his goal past Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson during the first period in Game 7 of an NHL hockey second-round Stanley Cup playoff series in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Some people just know how to do this Game 7 thing.

The Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in the seventh game of their Pacific Division final, 6-2, moving on to the conference final vs. Chicago and moving to 6-0 in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in potential elimination games.

Every player who scored a goal for the Kings had never lost a Game 7, and are now a combined 27-0 in the Game 7s they’ve played in.

Which is fairly clutch.

The Anaheim Ducks, on the other hand, fell to 2-4 in franchise history in Game 7. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry fell to a combined 2-6 in Game 7. Bruce Boudreau, the coach that’s never led a team to the conference final, still hasn’t, and is now 1-5 in career Game 7s, his last win coming in 2009.

Which is the opposite of clutch.

The Kings were dominant in Game 7, pouring 16 shots on rookie goalie John Gibson in the first period and putting three past in him the opening 15:12 of the game.

Justin Williams opened the scoring on the power plan, collecting a puck in front of Gibson and tucking home his sixth career Game 7 goal in six career Game 7s.

Jeff Carter has the Kings’ second goal, muscling past Hampus Lindholm at center ice and then scoring on Gibson on a delayed penalty, just 4:18 after Williams’ goal.

The Ducks had a chance to get back into the game with a Corey Perry penalty shot – on a play that saw his stick break before Drew Doughty allegedly broke it – but Jonathan Quick made the save.

Mike Richards scored his second of the playoffs at 15:12 of the first, using a little give-and-go with Dwight King to tip the puck past Gibson.

(Yes, three ex-Flyers scoring against Bruce Boudreau, who lost his first Game 7 against the Flyers in Washington.)

Gibson returned for the start of the second period, but lasted only 2:02. A center ice turnover by the Ducks led to a 2-on-1 with Anze Kopitar and Dwight King, with Kopitar beating him for his fifth of the playoffs.

With that, the rookie sensation was sent to the bench.

Marian Gaborik scored his NHL-leading ninth goal on the power play at 14:08 against Jonas Hiller to make it 5-0.

The Ducks began a mini-comeback with a Kyle Palmieri goal that snuck inside Quick’s pad near the post at 17:02 of the second. Corey Perry made it 5-2 with his fourth of the playoffs, scored 4-on-4 at 3:42 of the third. Getzlaf nearly cut the lead again on the next shift, but Quick made a key save.

After that, the Ducks took a pair of minor penalties and Quick was up to the task. Tanner Pearson’s goal at 13:54 of the third capped the scoring for the Kings.

The game marked the end of Teemu Selanne’s magical NHL career, as the Ducks legend vowed this would be his last season in the League. Selanne skated 14:02 for the game and was a minus-1 with three shots on goal. He finished the postseason with two goals in 11 games.

With five minutes left, the Los Angeles Kings fans visiting the Honda Center sang “Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye.” They won three games in Anaheim in the Freeway Faceoff. Now, they carry California hockey’s flag into the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, beginning on Sunday.

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