Gaborik the hero as Kings take Game 1
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Marian Gaborik tied the game late in regulation and scored the winner 12:07 into overtime as the Los Angeles Kings rallied for a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
On the winning goal, Anze Kopitar received the puck in the high slot and threw a hard pass to the left side for Gaborik, who tipped the puck on net where it went off the post and in for the winner and a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven set.
Kopitar had three assists and Alec Martinez scored the other goal for the Kings, who became the fourth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 hole as they defeated the San Jose Sharks in a seven-game opening round matchup.
Jonathan Quick made 33 saves in the victory.
"We weren't sharp in some parts of the game, we gave them some odd-man rushes and turned the puck over," said Gaborik. "But we came back and got a very important win for us."
Teemu Selanne and Matt Beleskey scored for the Ducks, who took out the Dallas Stars in six games to advance to the semifinals. Jonas Hiller had 33 saves in the loss.
"You're looking at a 3-2 overtime loss where both teams played evenly," said Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau. "It wasn't like one team was dominant over the other, it's what two good hockey teams do, one wins and the other doesn't. Maybe on Monday it will be reversed."
This is the first time these long-time division rivals are meeting in the playoffs with Game 2 set for Monday in Anaheim.
The Kings were trailing by a goal after Selanne scored earlier in the third period, and they pulled Quick for an extra attacker.
It appeared the Ducks were poised to win this one in regulation after Hiller made stops on Kopitar and a rebound chance by Justin Williams inside the final minute.
However, Mike Richards threw the puck on net from the left boards in the dying seconds, and Gaborik was able to knock the rebound out of the air and between the pads of Hiller with just seven ticks showing to force overtime.
"It's a playoff game so you're never going to see teams lay down," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "We were just working hard to tie the game."
The first good chance of overtime went to Anaheim as a furious scramble in front of the net saw Corey Perry have a chance with Quick out of position about a minute in, but Martinez was there to block the chance in front of the net.
Quick stopped seven shots in overtime before Gaborik won the game.
Los Angeles had an early power play when Selanne was called for interference on Robyn Regehr at 2:05 of the first, but the team was unable to get one through.
A penalty to Nick Bonino at 7:52, though, put the Kings back on the man advantage and this time the team made it count. Gaborik got the puck in the right corner and charged to the net, dishing a backhand pass to the left circle where a pinching Martinez one-timed it home for his first of the playoffs at 9:04.
The Ducks, though, scored just under three minutes later to tie the game as Ryan Getzlaf charged down the right wing and was going around the net with Quick coming out after him. Getzlaf then passed the puck out front just before heading behind the net and Beleskey had an open net for his second of the playoffs.
Quick kept the game tied moments later when he made a nice glove save on Devante Smith-Pelly from the right circle.
In the second, Bonino rang a shot off the post about four minutes in, and Quick then turned away another Smith-Pelly one-timer down low a few seconds later.
The Kings had trouble getting shots on net as the team went almost 17 1/2 minutes without a shot after the Martinez goal, but the team did manage to get 10 on net in the second.
At 8:08 of the third, the Ducks took a 2-1 lead. Patrick Maroon took a feed in the neutral zone and skated down the middle, shifting to the backhand to get around a defender and leaving the puck for Selanne, who tapped in a backhander for his first of the playoffs.
The Ducks won four of five from the Kings during the regular season, including all three games as the guest ... The Kings were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Ducks failed on their four chances ... Kopitar leads all skaters in the playoffs with 13 points (4g, 9a) ... Getzlaf had two assists in the contest.
05/04 01:47:53 ET