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Ducks look to knock out Kings in Game 6

by Corey Masisak


(Anaheim leads best-of-7 series 3-2)


Big story: For the second time in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings have lost three straight games. They were able to rally from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round, but can they solve the new-look Anaheim Ducks, who have 20-year-old instant sensation John Gibson in goal and a collection of young players helping support their superstars in a way the Kings' depth guys have not?

"They've got so much pride and championship blood that it's just going to take a perfect game to [end the series] in their building," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We know our work is definitely cut out for us. We know that they're not going to roll over for us. I would still venture to guess that people are still thinking that they're the favorites to win the series because of what they've done in the past."

Team Scope:

Ducks: Anaheim played well in the first two games of this series but ended up with losses. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said the Kings were fortunate to win Game 1 in overtime, and the Ducks outshot them in a big way in Game 2.

Now the Ducks have surged ahead, and their counterattack is giving the Kings a lot of problems. Anaheim's young players are getting better as the series progresses. Each coach has been adamant about the lack of momentum from game-to-game, but the Ducks have been able to find it in bursts during games.

"This whole process, it's slow. It's long," captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We're playing against a good hockey team that is never really out of it. When you're going through these things, you go win by win and you try and get to that fourth one as quick as you can."

Kings: Los Angeles won four straight elimination games in the opening round and will need two more to advance to the Western Conference Final for the third consecutive season.

There is a wealth of experience to draw upon in the situation, for the players and their coach.

"I'd rather be playing a Game 6 in May than be playing Game 82 on the 15th of April and saying, 'Oh, I can't wait to watch the playoffs,'" Sutter said. "[The] teams are close, and as a coach, you go in expecting to win every game. If you don't, you shouldn't be in this League. And we've been down that road. We go in expecting to win every game. Obviously that doesn't happen, or someone would go 82-0 and someone would go 16-0. But if you have that mindset, it's a good one to have."

Who's hot: Anaheim forward Devante Smith-Pelly has five goals in his past six games. … Los Angeles forward Marian Gaborik has five goals in his past five games and leads the NHL with eight.

Injury report: Ducks forward Matt Beleskey (lower body) and goaltender Frederik Andersen (lower body) have been ruled out for the remainder of this series. Defenseman Stephane Robidas (leg) is out. … Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell (undisclosed) skated Tuesday morning but remains doubtful. Defenseman Robyn Regehr (undisclosed) is likely out.

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