Keys to the series (part 1)
1. Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf is a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. Kings center Anze Kopitar is a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. If there’s a better matchup between opposing series in these playoffs, we’d sure like to see it. Getzlaf had seven points, including three goals, in the first round. Kopitar had 10 points, including four goals.
2. Goaltending is always a key whenever the Kings play. Jonathan Quick is their best and most accomplished player, having won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. His series-shifting glove save on the San Jose Sharks’ Patrick Marleau in Game 7 reminded everyone of his otherworldly skills. The Ducks are expected to start Jonas Hiller in Game 1.
3. Special teams play could swing the series in one direction or the other. The Ducks took control of their first-round series against Dallas by scoring four power-play goals in Game 5. They have the potential to make the Kings pay for their overly aggressive play. The Kings’ penalty-kill was superb in their first-round win over the Sharks, especially in Games 6 and 7, and enabled them to rally.