Kings not going away easy, force Game 7 with Ducks

Kings defenceman Jake Muzzin (6) celebrates after scoring a goal past Ducks goalie John Gibson (36)...

Kings defenceman Jake Muzzin (6) celebrates after scoring a goal past Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during first period playoff action in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:45 AM ET

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings are proving to be a tough out.

For the fifth time in the 2014 NHL playoffs, the Kings have been a loss away from elimination and on all five occasions they've managed to live another day.

On Wednesday, the Kings forced a seventh and deciding game in their Western Conference semifinal against the Anaheim Ducks with a 2-1 victory at Staples Center.

Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings, which proved to be enough for goaltender Jonathan Quick in the contest. Quick made 21 saves to finally get a win over Ducks rookie goaltender John Gibson.

Gibson turned aside 21 shots for the Ducks, but it was the one he wasn't able to stop, which was most memorable.

Lewis scored the game winner in the second period on a harmless-looking wrist shot that managed to get through Gibson and roll into the net.

Prior to the goal, the Ducks had the Kings pinned in their own end as the top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Devante Smith-Pelly were able to cycle the puck effectively deep in the Los Angeles zone.

After a number of close calls, Kings winger Justin Williams was able to gain control of the puck and sent an outlet pass to Lewis at centre. Lewis went in on an even-man rush and beat Gibson on a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle.

Gibson was called up from the Ducks' AHL affiliate in Norfolk prior to Game 4 of the series after Frederik Andersen went down with an injury.

Gibson was given the surprise start in Game 4 over veteran Jonas Hiller and shut out the Kings. He then went on to make 39 saves in the Game 5 victory.

On Wednesday, after falling behind 2-0, the Ducks were able to cut into the lead before the end of the period through Kyle Palmieri.

A healthy scratch in the first two games of the series, Palmieri was able to beat Quick on a wraparound with less than five minutes left in the second. The Ducks winger took the puck around the net and beat Quick to the other side. The Kings goaltender had come out to challenge Palmieri, but hesitated getting up and to the other post, which cost him.

Muzzin had given the Kings the lead in the first period, beating Teemu Selanne to the front of the net and depositing an Anze Kopitar centring pass by Gibson.

The goal was Muzzin's third of the playoffs, but first of the series. The Kings defenceman scored in each of the first two games in the previous round against the San Jose Sharks.

Marian Gaborik also picked up an assist on the goal, giving him 13 points in his 13 playoff games for the Kings. Kopitar leads the way in the playoffs with 17 points for Los Angeles.

The Kings went into the contest facing elimination after dropping Game 5 of the series in Anaheim. It was the third consecutive game the Kings lost to the Ducks, having opened the series with two wins on the road.

In the previous round, the Kings lost the first three games of the series against the Sharks and were a loss away from the golf course three times before taking a winner-take-all Game 7.

Leading 2-1 against the Ducks in the third, the Kings settled into their defensive shell, not giving Anaheim much. Anaheim's best chance to tie the game came on a power play six minutes into the period, but that was negated halfway into it when Getzlaf slashed the stick out of Dustin Brown's hand and was assessed a penalty.

Later in the period, the Kings killed off another minor as Slava Voynov caught Palmieri with a high stick.

Game 7 of this series takes place Friday (9 p.m., EST) in Anaheim. The winner moves on to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference final. The Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild in six games to advance. Chicago will host the first two games of the series if the Kings advance and will travel to Anaheim if the Ducks prevail.

The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will meet in the Eastern Conference final.

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