The Anaheim Ducks became the first team to defend home ice in their series with the Los Angeles Kings, holding on for a 4-3 victory on Monday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
With the win, the Ducks take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series and will have a chance to close out on Wednesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Anaheim got on the board early in the first period when Nick Bonino cleanly beat Jonathan Quick with a wrister a little over two minutes into the game. But the lead wouldn’t last, as Trevor Lewis took advantage of a bad Anaheim change to get his team level just about seven minutes later.
The second 20 minutes was all Anaheim.
Devante Smith-Pelly scored two early second-period goals, one on the power play off a deflection from Mathieu Perreault, just 1:23 apart, to put his team up 3-1.
The Kings deficit ballooned to three goals when Jakob Silfverberg beat Quick, and it appeared at that point that the issue was all but settled.
But Marian Gaborik was having none of that.
With the door opened by a Smith-Pelly double minor for high sticking late in the period, Gaborik pulled his team within two, scoring on the power play and giving the Kings some momentum heading into the third.
Gaborik would net another goal with a little under six minutes to play in regulation, and Ducks rookie goaltender John Gibson—the hero of Game 4—spent the remainder of the game under siege, but made the saves he needed in order to secure a crucial victory.
Gibson, a 20-year-old rookie making his second straight start, made 39 saves on Monday, proving that his 28-save shutout on Saturday was no fluke.
The Ducks and Kings will resume their series on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
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