Jan 19, 2013, 12:29 AM EDT
The Kings will celebrate their Stanley Cup championship on Saturday with a banner raising and ring ceremony.
Then they’ll get onto the business of battling the 2010 Cup champs.
That’ll be the scene as Los Angeles hosts the Chicago Blackhawks (3 p.m. ET, NBC) at Staples to open up the 2013 NHL regular season.
While the focus will largely be on the Kings — the reigning champs enter the season with targets on their back — there’ll be some focus on the Blackhawks as well.
Chicago isn’t far removed from being king of the hill, and dealing with the pressure that comes from it. Since winning the Cup two years ago, the ‘Hawks have struggled to achieve similar success and have been eliminated in the first round of consecutive postseasons.
“We get to wipe the slate clean,” he explained. “We know that we have tons of talent. We’ve got role players and depth. It’s exciting to correct some mistakes and move forward.”
Los Angeles is looking to wipe the slate clean too, albeit in a different manner.
The Kings want to carry over postseason momentum — they only lost four games en route to the Cup — and return almost their entire roster from last season.
But they also recognize a new season means new beginnings, and they can’t rest on past laurels.
“We’re the defending champs,” Anze Kopitar told the Los Angeles Times. “Everyone is going to try to beat us. I don’t think that changes anything in here. It’s going out there and leaving the past behind you.…You’ve got to turn the page now and write a new script for it.
“It’s going to be a short season and you can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
Tale of the Tape
|Los Angeles Kings (2011-12)||Chicago Blackhawks (2011-12)|
|Record: 40-27-15, 95 PTS (3rd in Pacific, 8th in Western Conference)||Record: 45-26-11, 101 PTS (4th in Central, 6th in Western Conference)|
|Leading Scorer: Anze Kopitar (25G-51A-76PTS)||Leading Scorer: Marian Hossa (29G-48A-77PTS)|
|Goalie: Jonathan Quick (35-21-13, 1.95 GAA)||Goalie: Corey Crawford (20-17-7, 2.72 GAA)|
— Kopitar will miss Saturday’s game with a knee sprain. (LA Times)
May 4, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
Could play on Wednesday against Russia.
May 4, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Game 3 between the Rangers and Capitals is the lone game on the schedule.
May 4, 2015, 8:05 AM EDT
Monday’s collection of links.
May 4, 2015, 1:04 AM EDT
The last team to open the playoffs with at least six straight wins was Pittsburgh in 2008.
May 4, 2015, 12:18 AM EDT
He’ll be looking for the Wild to do better mentally at home.
May 3, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT
There are three contests scheduled for Sunday.
May 3, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT
He seemed initially dazed, but stayed in the game.
May 3, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT
Chicago now has a 2-0 series lead.
May 3, 2015, 10:27 PM EDT
Devan Dubnyk had some bad luck on this one.
May 3, 2015, 9:58 PM EDT
“He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight.”
May 3, 2015, 9:14 PM EDT
Prust and Bishop have a history.
May 3, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT
The series will now return to Tampa Bay where the Lightning were 32-8-1 in the regular season.
May 3, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT
This might lead to Jonathan Drouin playing in Game 3.
May 3, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT
How far can the Lightning go if he gets hot?
May 3, 2015, 7:14 PM EDT
Valtteri Filppula snuck one by Carey Price.
May 3, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
At one point 14 squads were believed to be interested in his services.
May 3, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
It’s the first time he’s out of the lineup since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
May 3, 2015, 5:46 PM EDT
Exactly when that will be remains to be seen.
May 3, 2015, 4:55 PM EDT
It’s rarely easy for young stars.
May 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT
He’s working nicely with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
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