How does a team advance to the Western Conference Final averaging 2.00 goals a game and losing five of six road games? How did that team win a Game 7 with four shots on goal in the first period and three shots in the third?
Yes, these 2013 Los Angeles Kings are grindingly unique. Instead of leaving the opposition in its rear-view mirror in a neat, 20-game, 60-day scamper through the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they did last season, these Kings needed 13 excruciatingly close games in 29 days to get through the first two rounds.
The next thing that comes easy for L.A. will be the first. Yet, it sits on six straight playoff series wins after eliminating the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night.
There are no eye-opening revelations in answering the aforementioned questions, but here are five reasons the Kings advanced to the conference final: