Marian Gaborik forced overtime by batting a puck past Jonas Hiller with 7 seconds left and then tipped home a pass from Anze Kopitar to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in game 1 of their second round playoff series.
It was a very evenly played game as both teams came out hitting and shooting, with both Hiller and Jonathan Quick making 33 saves. Perhaps the save of the game was made by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, as he robbed Corey Perry in overtime from point blank range after Quick was down and out of position to allow the Kings to get the win.
Martinez had opened the scoring for the Kings on a power play just before the midway point of the first period, jumping into the crease are from the point and picking up a puck that slid off the stick of Gaborik as he was tying to tuck it in from behind the net. That lead didn’t last long as Matt Beleskey finished off a great play from Ryan Getzlaf into an empty net. Getzlaf had carried the puck from his own end and drew Quick out of the crease with a fake shot and then dished the puck out front to Beleskey for the empty net.
The score remained that way until past the eight minute mark of the third. Getzlaf send Patrick Maroon in one on one against Matt Greene. Greene played it well and forced the puck off his stick, but it was veteran Teemu Selanne who picked up the loose puck, beating Slava Voynov to the crease area, and the Finnish Flash slid it under Quick’s pads to give the Ducks their first lead of the game.
They held it until the final moments when Mike Richards‘ shot from the side boards was stopped by Hiller, but the rebound went up in the air and Gaborik whacked at it and it somehow trickled through the Anaheim goalie’s legs to force overtime.
The OT winner was a nice three way passing play as Drew Doughty had the puck along the boards after Jeff Carter had carried it behind the Ducks net. Doughty fed it in the slot to Kopitar, who saw an unchecked Gaborik coming in from the corner and made a perfect feed that Gaborik could just re-direct into the net before Hiller could get across.
The Los Angeles Kings will be looking to take the second game in Anaheim and return home up 2 games to none when they next play on Monday night.