The Kings scored first, got a gift for a second goal and shifted into lock-down mode in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series Wednesday against the Ducks at Staples Center. In other words, they showed off their survival skills again and lived to skate another day.

All things considered, their 2-1 victory had the look and feel of many of their playoff victories over the last few seasons. It was all about substance over style, which is pretty much Page 1 of Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s playbook. And all the rest of the pages, too, come to think of it.

It almost figured that the first Freeway Series would go the distance. The Kings won the first two games of the best-of-7 series, dropped the next three and then staved off elimination for the fifth time in the 2014 playoffs to force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Friday at the Honda Center.

“I think it’s good for this area,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “There’s a lot of excitement and probably a lot of nervous people. Neither team wants a Game 7, but from a fan’s perspective and a Southern California perspective, it’s probably good for the growth of the game.”

Friday’s winner advances to play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. Game 1 is at noon Sunday. If the Ducks win, they will play host to the Blackhawks. If the Kings win, they will travel to Chicago.

“When our team is confident, that’s when we’re at our best,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “We showed that tonight. We played a good game. That’s a big win. Huge situation. We need to continue to do the same things and not forget how we won this game.”

Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin scored the all-important first goal of the game, on a tap-in after he sneaked behind the Ducks’ inattentive defense 8 minutes, 12 seconds into the first period. Anze Kopitar slipped him the puck and Muzzin slammed it into the net.