Sports

LA Kings facing higher degree of difficulty, but still passing every test in title defense

  • Members of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate their 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Members of the Los Angeles Kings celebrate their 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, top, checks Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, of Slovenia, during the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 victory over San Jose. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski, top, checks Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, of Slovenia, during the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 victory over San Jose. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

Although the Los Angeles Kings' road toward a second straight Stanley Cup title has been longer, steeper and a whole lot bumpier than last season's journey, the champs are still right on course.

The Kings needed 13 games to reach their second straight Western Conference finals this spring after rocketing through the first two rounds in just nine games last season. Los Angeles also had to survive a tense Game 7 with the San Jose Sharks, winning 2-1 on Tuesday night on two goals by Justin Williams and another night of phenomenal goaltending from Jonathan Quick.

The Kings are averaging just two goals per game, and they've only won one road playoff game this year. But they're still rolling because of their perfect home record and Quick's league-best play.