Kings show Ducks who is boss


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bruce Willis has nothing on these Los Angeles Kings.

Die hard? Huh, you better believe it.

Justin Williams did his Game 7 thing, Jonathan Quick proved why he's the top money goalie in the NHL, Anze Kopitar covered 200 feet seemingly at once and the Kings improved to 6-0 in elimination games this spring with a 6-2 rout of the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7.

"I've said it multiple times, that this group that we have -- the inner arrogance, or quiet confidence, whatever you want to call it -- in this dressing room," Williams said. "I look around and trust that everybody's going to do his job. Nobody has to be great, but everybody has to be good. And we were all good tonight.''

The Kings were dominant. Pure and simple. Just as they were in Game 7 at San Jose last round.

"It's in this room. We don't look outside too much," said star center Kopitar. "We believe in this room and that's the most important thing, trusting each other. When you throw a little urgency on top of it, we're playing pretty good hockey."

It was an anticlimactic end to what had been a very closely played Southern California series, the first-ever between the Ducks and Kings.

But on this night, big brother patted little brother on the head and said, "Not yet, kid."

The young Ducks looked nervous early on while the veteran Kings came out of the gates like a pack of wild dogs unleashed, pounding the Anaheim zone on the first few shifts.

The early pressure produced a Ben Lovejoy hooking call on Kings captain  Dustin Brown. That led to Mr. Game 7 himself opening the scoring at 4:30, as Williams put a rebound home. Make it six goals and six assists in six career Game 7s for the former Flyers winger. Crazy.

"The thing I'm proudest of is the 6-0 [record in Game 7s], and the fact that we're moving on," said Williams of his teams being 6-0 in seventh games during his career. "At the end of my career, I'll look back and be proud of it."

The team scoring first had gone 6-0 in this series and Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau talked Thursday about how badly he wanted his team to get it.

They never came close.

Jeff Carter, the Team Canada Olympic version, burst through the middle of the ice, flung Hampus Lindholm off him like he was a flea, and skated in alone to beat John Gibson with a backhand deke.

It was 2-0 just 8:48 into the game and the Ducks bench looked stunned.

Corey Perry could have made things interesting had he converted on a controversial penalty shot at 14:08, but he was denied by the fortress known as Quick.

When Mike Richards put home a rebound of a Dwight King shot at 15:12, the whole building knew what that meant: Game, set, match ... series.

You're just not coming back from that deficit on the NHL's stingiest regular-season team. It ain't happening.

"With our group of guys, it's going to be tough to come back from that,'' said Brown.

When Kopitar made it 4-0 just 2:02 into the second period, rookie Gibson got the hook. The final nail.

"One of our goals was coming out hard in the first period," said Kings star blueliner Drew Doughty. "We even said before the game, 'Everyone is talking about this Gibson, let's see [ Jonas] Hiller  tonight.' We managed to do that and that was one of our goals."

Indeed, a soul-crushing loss for a Ducks team that finished 16 points ahead of the Kings in the standings but, for the second year in a row, lost a Game 7 at home to end its season.

"We've got a few months to figure it out. We'll get over it," said Boudreau. "You have to get over it. Secondly, when the time for training camp comes around, you're just excited to be playing hockey again and you want to try to make amends for the last game. Right now, it's a bitter pill to swallow, the way we lost that game. But we're going to get over it.

"First period was men against boys, quite frankly. They were bigger, stronger, faster and seemed more determined. We were on our heels. Everything we said we didn't want to do, we did. We get behind the eight ball and all of a sudden we get mad, whether it's against the officials. By the time we started playing well again in the second, Quick was there to make the save when they needed it."

Added Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf: "They're a great hockey team. I've got a lot of respect for the other guys in that room. They came out and they beat us tonight."

There is so much to like about this Ducks team, too, moving forward; from Gibson to Devante Smith-Pelly, Sami Vatanen, Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Jakob Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell, Emerson Etem and others in the system, Anaheim is going to be around for years to come.

But on this night, it was goodbye to a wondrous legend in Teemu Selanne, playing in his final career game, and certainly not the way he was hoping to end things.

"It's going to be tough waking up tomorrow morning and realizing it's all over," said Selanne. "But I want to look at the big picture and enjoy this game, my teammates, the fans and the organization. Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect to have a career like this. I'm very thankful."

Few players have more gracefully taken the ice in NHL arenas over the past 21 years than the great Teemu. He will be incredibly missed, not just for his prowess on the ice but for a smile that could light up a room off of it.

The Kings players showed their respect toward Selanne not just in the handshake line but also by sticking around afterward before leaving the ice and saluting the Finnish Flash by tapping their sticks on the ice.

"There's not many guys left in this league that have earned the respect and admiration of not only the fans, but the players he played against," said the Kings' Williams. "We would have stood out there for 20 minutes if we could. If that is his last game ... he has nothing to be upset about. He was an awesome player."

It might possibly have also been  Saku Koivu 's final game, though the former Montreal Canadiens captain said he would take some time to think about it.

"I really don't have an answer for you," Koivu said afterward. "Get away from the game for a couple of weeks and really take a good, careful look. What happened. How the season went and if there is enough left to come back and push for another year."

For the Kings, the season continues. Friday's win set up a rematch of last spring's Western Conference finals when Chicago beat L.A. in five games en route to a Cup championship. Game 1 goes Sunday afternoon at the United Center, a mighty tight turnaround for the Kings.

But bring on the Hawks, a chance for the Kings to avenge last spring's series loss.

"I'm sure it's going to have a little kick to it, just because we did play them last year," said Kopitar. "I think you always get excited when you play the Stanley Cup champions."