Every night during the playoffs, we will wrap up all the exciting action and tell you what you need to know about the 2013-14 Stanley Cup playoffs. Welcome to What You Need To Know.
Kings win 2-1 | Series Tied 3-3 | Game 7 Fri.
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks weathered an early storm in the first period, managing to give up just one goal despite an onslaught from the Kings. An uncharacteristic soft goal allowed by rookie John Gibson ended up being the difference however. You have to give the Ducks credit for the way they played in trying to erase the two goals they gave up, but they couldn't establish nearly enough of a consistent offensive presence to earn the win on this game. The Ducks D and Gibson were good for most of the game, but the forwards have to find a way to keep this team closer in the possession battle. The Kings played a pretty flawless game to earn the win, but the Ducks can remain confident that they'll have a chance to win this thing in a Game 7.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings limited mistakes and got exactly what they felt they'd need to win Wednesday night: the game's first goal. Jake Muzzin's goal 8:16 into the game really helped set the tone for the Kings. Playing with the lead, they were able to settle into their game, manage the puck and do their level best to keep the play in Anaheim's end. The Kings also got a bit lucky. Trevor Lewis scored a softy for the second goal and that proved to be enough. Once the Ducks got desperate late in the game, the Kings had to rely on great goaltending from Jonathan Quick and solid defense, which they absolutely got.
Play of the Game: The final 29 seconds of this game which started with a faceoff in the Kings' zone off an icing brought the heavy drama. With the Ducks doing everything within their power to find the equalizer, the Kings had to protect their net. Jonathan Quick made some saves, including one off a deflection off Jarret Stoll's skate, but he got a lot of help with the Kings just collapsing to the middle and the Ducks getting nothing out of it. It went right down to the final second of the game, but the Kings kept the puck out and forced Game 7.
Player of the Game: Anze Kopitar led all Kings forwards in ice time by almost three minutes. He is out there in every key situation and made a brilliant play on Jake Muzzin's game-opening goal. With more than 17 minutes of ice time, winning 65 percent of his draws, and making some key plays on the penalty kill, Kopitar continues to solidify his status as a Conn Smythe favorite should the Kings keep going. The Slovenian has really become a special player in the game and is he ever bringing it this postseason.
Turning Point: Trevor Lewis' routine wrist shot from distance found a way through John Gibson to give the Kings a 2-0 lead. It was the first real soft goal that Gibson had given up, proving that the young guy is indeed human. That two-goal cushion didn't necessarily seem insurmountable, as it didn't even last two minutes, but the Kings were able to establish their game and play comfortably with the lead.
GIF of the Game: Here's a look at the goal Lewis scored that gave the Kings a 2-0 lead. Gibson obviously will want to have this one back, but considering he hasn't had too many moments like this one is rather impressive for a 20-year-old in just his fifth NHL game. As long as Gibson can shake that off, we'll have a great goaltending matchup in Game 7 as well. GIF via @LAKings:
Canadiens win 3-1 | Montreal wins series 4-3
Boston Bruins: You couldn't tell this is a team that has loads of Game 7 experience because in the first period they almost looked terrified. They were sloppy and slow, a rough combination and they were lucky to be down just 1-0. They definitely picked up their game and put everything they could on the Canadiens but as was the story all series long, they just couldn't get the bounces to go their way. Further to that, it seemed like any mistake they made was going the other way and often ending up in their own net. It's terribly disappointing for the Bruins to be ousted before the conference finals but this Canadiens team has given them fits all season, let alone all-time.
Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban talked about going into Boston with an amped up crowd and reveling in silencing them. The Canadiens did exactly what they had to do to make that happen the best they could with a very strong first period, something that bled over a bit into the second. From there they had to play hang-on hockey and it worked. You have to give the Canadiens a lot of credit, they never backed down from the Bruins in this series and they were able to give the Bruins trouble with their speed. They couldn't not compete with the Bruins in a physical game and they did their best not to make it one. They had to play a nearly flawless series and they did, it's hard to name a Canadiens player that had a bad series.
Play of the Game: Here was your game-winner to Max Pacioretty, a guy who had been mostly invisible prior to Game 6 in Montreal. But he was just there to put home the hard work done by David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher. They managed to prevent the Bruins from clearing the zone and then when Desharnais sprung free, he drew the attention of Tuukka Rask before finding Pacioretty all alone. That goal was truly a credit to the entire line.
Player of the Game: We'd like to give it to Daniel Briere for once again coming up huge in a Game 7 but it's hard to deny Carey Price from the honor once again. The Bruins brought constant pressure in the last two periods and he kept all the pucks out but one. So much for Price not being a big-game goalie.
Turning Point: Daniel Briere's goal in the closing minutes took just about all of the pressure off and it was set up thanks to Johnny Boychuk's very ill-advised penalty in the neutral zone.
GIF of the Game: The Boston Bruins were THIS close to tying the game up early in the third period from one of their best players on Wednesday night, Jarome Iginla. This was the 13th time in this series the Bruins hit a post. That sound will haunt their offseason (via @MyRegularFace).