Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kings advance to final in West

The Kings’ Mike Richards, top, celebrates his goal in a 6-2 win over the Ducks in Game 7 on Friday.

Associated Press

The Kings’ Mike Richards, top, celebrates his goal in a 6-2 win over the Ducks in Game 7 on Friday.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Justin Williams, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored in an overwhelming first period, and the Kings advanced to their third straight Western Conference final with a 6-2 victory over the Ducks in Game 7 of their semifinal series Friday night.

Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson also scored, and Jonathan Quick made 25 saves to help the Kings claim the first postseason freeway series in thrilling style, winning back-to-back elimination games.

The Kings advanced to a conference final rematch with the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. The series begins Sunday in Chicago.

The Kings improved to 6-0 when facing elimination this spring, shredding rookie goalie John Gibson for four goals in the first 23 minutes in Game 7.

The defeat likely ended the career of the Ducks' Teemu Selanne, 43, who has said this season would be his last.

Rangers respect Habs

The Canadiens can rest easy. They won't be disrespected by their next playoff opponent.

If anything, the Rangers are giving them too much respect heading into today's opener of the Eastern Conference final.

The Canadiens enter following a bitter matchup with the Bruins that concluded with harsh words in the series-ending handshake line.

"I know they went into the Boston series saying that they felt Boston didn't respect them. We respect Montreal quite a bit," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Friday before traveling to Montreal for Games 1 and 2.

"They're the favorites. Against Tampa Bay and against Boston, they were the underdogs, they didn't have home ice. Now they're going into this series very likely expected to win. Pressure does funny things to different people. I'm anxious to see how we're going to react. I'm sure they're anxious to see how they're going to act."

Montreal coach Michel Therrien, who replaced Vigneault as Canadiens coach during his first stint with the team in 2000, knows his counterpart well. He didn't engage in a debate over which team is the favorite.

"The favorite? That's a media game," Therrien said. "You go in the New York paper and they're the favorite. You go in the Montreal paper, we're the favorite. I'm not paying too much attention to those things."

Penguins fire GM: The Penguins hired Ray Shero as general manager eight years ago with the mandate to build a roster around two of the game's brightest stars and turn ticker-tape parades through Pittsburgh into an annual rite of spring. Nearly a decade — but just one Stanley Cup later — Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on a perennially underachieving team. And Shero is out of a job.

The Penguins fired Shero three days after another early playoff exit, this one a seven-game loss to the Rangers. Coach Dan Bylsma remains in charge at least until Shero's replacement gets a chance to evaluate the organization top to bottom.

"As we looked at this team as a whole, the whole year and not Game 7 (against the Rangers), we don't think we've got a team that's got all the ingredients we'd need to have for a championship team," co-owner Ron Burkle told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as interim general manager.

Lucic not sorry: Bruins forward Milan Lucic said he isn't sorry for saying something that angered the Canadiens' Dale Weise in the handshake line after Montreal won Game 7 on Wednesday. No one involved has repeated what Lucic said. Media reports have said it was "I'm going to (expletive) kill you next year."

Conference semifinals


Kings 4, Ducks 3

Game 1: Kings 3, Ducks 2 OT

Game 2: Kings 3, Ducks 1

Game 3: Ducks 3, Kings 2

Game 4: Ducks 2, Kings 0

Game 5: Ducks 4, Kings 3

Game 6: Kings 2, Ducks 1

Friday: Kings 6, Ducks 2

Blackhawks 4, Wild 2

Conference finals


canadiens vs. rangers

Today: at Montreal, 1, Ch. 8

Rest TBD


blackhawks vs. kings

Sunday: at Chicago, 3, Ch. 8

Rest TBD

Eastern Conference final

Canadiens vs. Rangers

Coaches: Canadiens — Michel Therrien; Rangers — Alain Vigneault

Season series: Montreal 2-1.

Key stats: Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban has a team-high 12 points in the playoffs, taking advantage of power plays with three goals and four assists. … The Rangers are 1-7-2 in their past 10 visits to Montreal. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has a 13-11-2 career record against the Canadiens and in Montreal is 4-5-2 with a 3.87 goals-against average and .876 save percentage. Lundqvist has not played at the Bell Centre since a 4-3 shootout victory in March 2009. His last regulation victory there was a 5-3 decision in February 2008.

Times wires

Kings advance to final in West 05/16/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2014 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Charlie Strong, Gulf High and the best (old) Jon Gruden-Tennessee rumor


    As Butch Jones keeps losing, Tennessee Vols fans are turning to one of the media's favorite pastimes.

    Jon Gruden coaching rumors.

  2. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  3. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  4. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve


    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  5. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.