NHL Playoffs Game 2- Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks Preview

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“The Freeway Faceoff” between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks was supposed to be a close series between two evenly matched teams. Game 1 did a lot to reinforce that theory. 

The Kings escaped Anaheim with a 3-2 overtime victory despite being outplayed for long stretches of the game.  Marian Gaborik tied the game with just seven seconds left in regulation time and then won the game in overtime. Anze Kopitar had three assists for the Kings.  The Ducks got good goaltending from veteran Jonas Hiller in defeat. Ryan Getzlaf also had two assists for Anaheim.

The Kings were truly able to escape with a win after a tremendous save by Alec Martinez, who blocked a late shot with the net open.

“I guess I channeled my inner goalie, playing in the driveway when I was younger,” Martinez said Sunday after the latest round of congratulations for his game-saving block. “I just tried to get in front of it, and maybe got a little bit lucky, too.”

 Jonas Hiller was first off the ice after Anaheim’s practice Monday morning, so it looks like he’s your Game 2 starter. The veteran took some heat for allowing the tying goal by Marian Gaborik with just seven seconds left in Game 1, but the real blame should be placed on backliner Bryan Allen and his failure to clear (and Boudreau for having Allen out there in the first place).

Both teams expect a long, taxing series between evenly matched opponents with a California feel.  The Kings have little trouble winning on the road, while the Ducks were a dominant home team this season — but neither team is likely to have a distinct home-ice advantage.

Anaheim has scored on 23.3 percent of its power-play chances in the playoffs. The Kings need to stay out of the penalty box to win Game 2 and to wear down the Ducks for the duration of the series.

Los Angeles has a chance to go up 2-0 tonight in Anaheim despite starting out the series on the road. Bettors who like L.A. to do it can have the Kings at +120.  The money line has Los Angeles listed +120 and Anaheim -132.   The total for game 2 is five goals. Game 1, which went to overtime, ironically finished with exactly five goals.

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