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Kings Return to Staples Center down 2-3 against Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks took advantage of some uncharacteristic miscues by the Los Angeles Kings, blow game five wide open in the second period and taking a 3-2 lead in the NHL second round series. After Nick Bonino opened the scoring just 2:15 into the first period, Devante Smith-Pelly blew the game wide open with two goals in a minute and a half span to start the second period. Jakob Silfverberg would score at the 8:23 mark of the second to make the score 4-1, giving the Ducks the lead for good.
John Gibson was solid in net once again for Anaheim. The 20-year-old rookie, who shut out Los Angeles on Saturday, stopped 39 shots in the victory. In a series where they've played three different goaltenders the Ducks are now just one victory away from the Western Conference finals. Gibson wasn't the only youngster featured on Monday night. Smith-Pelly, just 21-years old, has capitalized on his opportunity to play on the Ducks top line alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Silfverberg, just 23-years-old, is another rookie making an impact on the series
It was a total victory for Anaheim, with all four lines contributing goals and taking advantage of some mistakes by the Kings. After losing the first two games at home the Ducks have taken over the series and have the look of a team with the ability to take home the franchises' second Stanley Cup. The Ducks are clearly taking advantage of a Kings defense that is now missing both Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr, two veteran defensive minded blue-liners.
Eliminating the Kings will be another story. Los Angeles is 4-0 in elimination games this postseason after making their incredible comeback versus San Jose in the opening round. The Ducks will have their first crack at ending the Kings series on Wednesday night at STAPLES Center.