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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 2:04 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson's Game 7 turns into a nightmare

ANAHEIM -- For the second time in his NHL coaching career, Bruce Boudreau had to pull his prized young goaltender in a Game 7.

John Gibson became a major storyline in the first Freeway Series when he was recalled from the American Hockey League and won two straight games to help the Anaheim Ducks forge a lead against the Los Angeles Kings.

But the 20-year-old did not have a Game 7 to remember. Boudreau pulled him early in the second period after allowing four goals on 18 shots in a 6-2 loss at Honda Center on Friday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 3:58 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings coach Sutter praises Gaborik's contributions

LOS ANGELES -- Marian Gaborik has been seen as a divisive player during his 13 years in the NHL.

At times an electric scorer at a level few can match, and at times perceived as a frustrating player because of inconsistency or injury, there have always seemed to be a wide range of opinions about Gaborik.

Darryl Sutter doesn't seem like a guy who is too worried about things like that, and his experiences coaching Gaborik since he joined the Los Angeles Kings before the NHL Trade Deadline this season seem to reinforce that.

"Zero," Sutter said when asked what he had to adjust in Gaborik's game. "I talked to [Gaborik] when we got him in Winnipeg. I told him he was playing with [Anze Kopitar] and I'm not going to go out of my way to change the way he plays. Just give him a basic guideline. I said a couple days after we got him his hockey IQ is off the charts, so he can adjust in a hurry. He's been an easy guy, quite honest, to deal with."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 6:06 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings face Game 6 'not like we're panicking'

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- By the time the Los Angeles Kings began Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks, the players and coach Darryl Sutter felt they were already playing better, and by sticking to the process, the results followed.

Sutter was adamant the Kings were not as bad as the score indicated in Game 2 against the Sharks (7-2), and several players have said they felt the Kings were the better team in a Game 3 overtime loss (4-3).

The Kings are in a familiar spot during their Western Conference Second Round series with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have won three straight, and the Kings will face elimination from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fifth time Wednesday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The plan will be the same: Make minor adjustments and trust the process.

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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 4:12 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings focused on getting more from top players

ANAHEIM -- The top players on the Anaheim Ducks talked at length about needing to be better after Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round Series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have responded with strong efforts in Games 3 and 4 to get the Ducks back into the series. Now the chatter is similar down the hallway.

After dominating the end of a Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks and helping the Kings take a 2-0 lead against the Ducks, the top guns for Los Angeles have gone silent of late. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 on Monday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 5:14 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson to start for Ducks in Game 5 vs. Kings

ANAHEIM -- Goalie John Gibson will start for the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of their Western Conference Second Round series Monday against the Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), coach Bruce Boudreau announced Sunday.

"Well, I kind of believe that it's not a difficult decision tomorrow," Boudreau said. "I'm not going to try to play that game. He came in. He played great. He's going to go again."

Gibson, 20, became the youngest goalie in NHL history to earn a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut with a 2-0 win against the Kings in Game 4 on Saturday at Staples Center that tied the best-of-7 series 2-2 after the Ducks lost the first two at Honda Center.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 9:46 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Gibson starts in goal for Ducks against Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau made another bold goaltending decision Saturday, with 20-year-old rookie John Gibson starting Game 4 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 4:00 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks could look to Palmieri, Vatanen for spark

LOS ANGELES -- Coach Bruce Boudreau still didn't confirm it, but there could be a couple of changes to the lineup for the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen was officially recalled from Norfolk of the American Hockey League and forward Emerson Etem, who played in the first two games of this series, was sent down. Kyle Palmieri is expected to replace Etem for the Ducks, while Vatanen could also be a new addition for Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), who lead this Western Conference Second Round series 2-0.

"He's a great scorer. He led the American League in scoring when he was 19," Boudreau said of Palmieri. "He's got a great shot. His shot is as good as anybody's. He can skate and he's got a bit of physicality. That's what he brings."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.06.2014 / 8:03 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Kings' Richards contributing despite scoring funk

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Through nine games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards have a couple of things in common.

One is, the Los Angeles Kings forwards each saw a lot of ice time against the top two centers of the San Jose Sharks, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture, in the first round. The other is they have matching Corsi for percentages.

The Kings have attempted 50.6 percent of the shots when Kopitar is on the ice at even strength, which is the same number as when Richards is out there.

That's where the similarities end. Kopitar leads the NHL with 14 points this postseason; Richards has no goals and two points heading into Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"Yeah. Frustrated is a good way to say it, I guess," Richards said when asked about the zero next to his name in the goals column. "You always want to help the team win. If it's scoring goals or doing different things, you try to help in any way possible. Obviously scoring goals would be nice, I'm not going to lie, but you can't get frustrated. If you show frustration, that can kind of trickle throughout the team too. It's not a selfish thing, it's not a personal thing. It's all about the team right now. It's all about winning hockey games. You want to contribute by scoring goals, but at the same time we're winning games right now and I've got to keep doing the same things to help the team."

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 3:56 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Schultz expected to make Kings debut in Game 2

ANAHEIM -- Defenseman Robyn Regehr did not skate Monday morning for the Los Angeles Kings, and all indications are Jeff Schultz will replace him in the lineup for Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round series at Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Regehr left Game 1 midway through the first period and did not return. He hasn't participated in either of the two team on-ice workouts since, and coach Darryl Sutter has not provided an update on his condition.

Schultz was signed before the season started, but this will be his first game for the Kings. He spent most of the regular season with Manchester in the American Hockey League, and when he was recalled he was a healthy scratch.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 6:04 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Kings series blog

Injuries push Kings' Martinez into the spotlight

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez had a big game in a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series with the Anaheim Ducks. He opened the scoring on the power play and stopped Ducks star Corey Perry from scoring the overtime winner when he blocked an attempt at the open net with goaltender Jonathan Quick out of position.

Impressive as the game-changing block was, Martinez only earned so much praise from Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

"Actually, he gave me a hard time. He said that my rebound control wasn't very good," Martinez said. "Darryl told me I either have to kick the rebound out wide, not up the middle, or at least cover it and get a whistle. I guess I'll work on that next time."

Martinez also logged more than 28 minutes of ice time because veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr left the game midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury. That total surpassed Martinez's career high by more than four minutes.

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Quote of the Day

A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery