(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Kings opened with five straight goals and dominated the Anaheim Ducks in a 6-2 Game Seven win to advance to the Western Conference finals. In what had been a tight, pressure-packed series against cross-town rivals, the Kings sucked the energy out of the Anaheim home crowd and wrapped up the best-of-seven series 4-3.
“I don’t think anyone expected it to be that high scoring,” said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who had a goal and an assist.
“We got on a roll and we took off after that. We knew this would have to be our best game of the series, and I think it was.”
Los Angeles are in the West final for the third consecutive time and face a rematch against the defending Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago dispatched of Los Angeles in just five games last season en route to the Stanley Cup final.
For Los Angeles, first period goals by Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards saw them storm ahead of Anaheim and they never let up.
Kopitar added a goal before Marian Gaborik converted his ninth of the playoffs in the second period to chase Anaheim’s 20-year-old goaltender John Gibson.
Gibson had been a revelation for the Ducks as he won Games Four and Five, before dropping the final two of the series.
Jonas Hiller came on in relief and stopped 10 of 12 shots. Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to aid the Kings’ victory.
Anaheim finally got on the scoreboard late in the second on a score from Kyle Palmieri. Corey Perry netted a goal in the third to make it 5-2 before Kings winger Tanner Pearson closed the scoring. The loss ended the career of 43-year-old Ducks right winger Teemu Selanne, who is retiring.
Selanne was given an ovation at the end, with the Kings staying on the ice to show their respect. “It was unbelievable,” Selanne said, about the Kings. “It was so much respect.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ian Ransom/Sudipto Ganguly