Skip to main content

Gaborik, Quick lead Kings to sixth straight win

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- They were largely outplayed in Game 1. They are without two starting defensemen. They have gone long stretches without putting shots on goal. Yet the Los Angeles Kings have put up a serious roadblock in the first Freeway Series.

Marian Gaborik grabbed the NHL goal-scoring lead in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Kings leaned on Jonathan Quick (36 saves) and their indestructible defense in a 3-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series on Monday at Honda Center.

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series despite getting outshot, 37-17. Gaborik's sixth goal of the postseason and Alec Martinez's second goal in as many games was enough support for Quick, who didn't see much traffic on his way to another victory.

Since it dropped the first three games of the first round, Los Angeles has won six straight, including four on the road. That 3-0 series deficit to the San Jose Sharks was 13 days ago.

"You kind of lose track of time in the playoffs," Martinez said. "It's either a game day, or not. It's important not to get too high or too low. We'll enjoy this one tonight, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

"I know [coach] Darryl [Sutter] stresses 'No one has to be great, everyone just has to be good,' and I think right now we're getting big plays out of a lot of different guys, and it's been the difference in the past six games. We've to got learn from our mistakes tonight and learn what we did well and hopefully roll it in once we go back home."

Game 3 is Thursday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), where the atmosphere won't be entirely different considering the hordes of people whose "Go Kings Go!" chants again had to be drowned out by Ducks fans.

"It doesn't even feel like being on the road," Sutter said. "We've played really good in this building here in the regular season. The biggest thing for us, tonight, quite honest … we needed four lines and six defensemen to be really good for us in terms of an even-strength game."

Kings fans were no doubt pleased with the defensive execution by Los Angeles, which has held Anaheim to three goals in two games after the Ducks scored six and five goals in the final two games of the first-round series against the Dallas Stars.

The Ducks have not scored an even-strength goal since midway through the third period of Game 1 against the Kings, who have veteran defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr out with injuries.

Frustration was evident in the Ducks dressing room for a team whose strength is offensive depth.

"I'm ticked off right now," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We're in playoff time right now. There are no excuses for anything. We have to be better, I have to be better, and I expect our group to respond."

Anaheim held a 12-5 shot advantage in the second period, but Los Angeles put bodies on bodies and constricted space to limit second chances. The Ducks had two power plays and put three shots on goal in that period.

Sutter and the Kings cited Quick as the reason for victory, but the Ducks told a different story.

"Traffic's a big thing," Getzlaf said. "We were nowhere near the net tonight when it came to shots from the point. We can watch the video and we'll see it all. We all see it from the bench and we've just got to change that when we go out on the ice."

Martinez was an offensive force in March, and he's rediscovered his scoring touch in the playoffs. His shot from the left point went off Ducks wing Jakob Silfverberg and past Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller's right shoulder at 12:07 of the first period to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.

Martinez, who had one goal and five assists in 33 playoff games before this season, has two goals and three assists in nine games.

Anaheim vowed to get better on the power play, and it got its crowd back into the game with a 4-on-3-advantage goal when Patrick Maroon's cross-crease feed to Corey Perry went in off the skate of Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin to tie it 1-1 at 9:40 of the first. That snapped a string of 19 straight penalties killed by Los Angeles, dating to Game 4 of the first round.

Gaborik simultaneously silenced Ducks fans and delighted Kings fans 34 seconds into the game when he sprinted past Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy in transition on the left side and beat Hiller high. Including the playoffs, Gaborik has 11 goals in 28 games with the Kings.

It was a bad start and a bad finish for Anaheim, which must win four of the next five games against one of the best defensive teams in the NHL.

"Yeah, we're depressed right now," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But we'll build ourselves up tomorrow and we'll be ready for Thursday.

"We've been there, that's why we believe we can accomplish this. We've gone on lots of streaks against good teams and been successful. Obviously we're playing a good team that's peaked at the right time, but I think we've got the capabilities to dig in deep and doing what we need to do."

Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz filled in for Regehr and played 19:58 in his first NHL game since March 31, 2013.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.