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Playoffs Tonight: Kings aim to defend home vs ‘Hawks

Jun 4, 2013, 8:11 AM EDT

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02: Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings checks Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks near the side boards in the first period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on June 2, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Boston Bruins have crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first two games. At the pace we’re going, we’re in for a Boston-Chicago finals, but of course, there’s still plenty of hockey left to play in the Conference finals and we might be in for some comebacks.

Los Angeles Kings host Chicago Blackhawks (9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Chicago leads 2-0

After narrowly winning Game 1, the Chicago Blackhawks took things a step further on Sunday by establishing a big lead early and forcing the Kings to yank goaltender Jonathan Quick.

“I haven’t done my job on the road,” Quick admitted.

The Kings will eventually need to deal with their road woes if they are going to make it to the Stanley Cup finals, but for now they have more urgent matters. Los Angeles is a perfect 7-0 at home in the postseason and the team can’t afford to let that streak end now.

“It’s a lot different playing away from the United Center,” Chicago’s Patrick Sharp told CSN Chicago. “I feel like we’ve been solid on the road the last couple years in the playoffs. The team gets home for that first game, the crowd’s into it, it kind of gives that extra push. We expect L.A. to be good at home. Obviously their record speaks for itself.”

From the Kings perspective, it helps that they’ve already proven that they can come back from a 2-0 deficit. They were in the same situation against the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the 2013 playoffs and responded by winning their next four contests.

“The only difference is we’re in the Western Conference Finals now,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said, according to LA Kings Insider. “With each round there’s a little more pressure. It’s a matter of handling that individually and collectively. We’re back on home ice where we’ve played very well this year.”

The big question mark going into this game in Los Angeles forward Mike Richards. He was a late scratch in Game 2 because of “symptoms” after absorbing a huge hit from Dave Bolland. If Richards is out for any extended period of time, it’s obviously a serious blow, especially given how much trouble the Kings have had scoring goals in the playoffs.

Either way, the Kings have to win, or they’ll find themselves in a position where they’ll need to pull off a historic comeback to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

  1. tripps3 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    If Hawks got into Quick’s head this series could be short

  2. hawk5383 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Where are all the Kings fans? For God and Country… you out there?

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Just remember, you asked for it.

    • blomfeld - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      YES, CHICAGO RULES !!! … HAWKS IN FOUR !!!!!!!!!!

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Told ya.

  3. joeyg88 - Jun 4, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    All the kings have Is Jonathan quick. And an injured group of guys in front of him

    • kleko2 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Remember , Chicago is not St. Louis.

      • pirovash88 - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        No you’re right, they’re not. They’re a team that have beaten an 8th and 7th seed in these playoffs. Mind you they almost got taken out by a 7th seed.

        This series is anything but over, as far as anyone’s concerned it’s barely getting started.

    • blomfeld - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      “All the Kings have Is Jonathan Quick” ?

      At the moment that indeed appears to be the case … and that’s completely unacceptable. Of course Quick was the main reason we won the cup last year, however he had timely support up front when it really counted. Now this year despite his ‘herculean’ efforts, we’ve done absolutely nothing up front and he’s subsequently been hung out to dry by the rest of the team. This type of behavior is ‘wrong’ and it’s completely inconsistent with the spirit of ‘elan’ … that galvanizing force which defines true team-fighting excellence.

      So if ever there was a ‘big’ game then that would be tonight for us Kings. We need to make a serious statement by scoring goals like there was no tomorrow … not only to get back into the series, but more importantly to show comrade Quick that he is ‘not’ alone. Carter, Kopitar, Brown and company … tonight it’s ‘your’ turn to deliver victory for us !

      GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them” … Lord Horatio Nelson

  4. aldub2010 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Hey Dirty brown there is a huge difference between the two series. You are playing the hawks and if you haven’t noticed yet we actually can score.

  5. sprtsfan1 - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Blomfeld, you’re still a goof, but even as a Hawks fan I can agree with everything you said. The only issue I have is that the Kings haven’t played well against the Hawks all season. I know it’s the playoffs and teams seem to find another level during this time, but maybe the Hawks actually figured something out against the Kings. I guess we’ll see tonight. If the Kings don’t score in the first 10 minutes of the game, my guess is Thursday will be an elimination game.

    • adambballn - Jun 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Definitely a goof but he’s starting to grow on me… say what you will about the guy the entertainment level in his posts are high and this one actually made sense.

      That being said, I think we’re going to see one of the Hawks better games of the season this year. They know they have the Kings on the ropes and they know how well the Kings have played at home this year. I’m expecting a big game from the Hawks and if that is the case I have a hard time seeing the Kings winning. I get the impression the Kings are playing pretty banged up at the moment and the Hawks are the healthiest I can remember them being in the playoffs since 2010.

  6. hammerhead5573 - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Isn’t it ironic that this years big Buff is Bickel? Ever since he has been sharing time on the line with towes it seems they are rolling. The only thing that makes me nervous is he is taking penalties or close to it….that are not necessary. With that said he plays very physical and Quineville was smart to make that change.

  7. 24/7 Hockey - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    The only way Los Angeles can win this game is by shutting down Chicago’s stars. Detroit showed that the ability to play physical with these stars will slow them down in the offensive zone and Jonathan Quick needs all the help it can get at this point. Los Angeles does not have the ability to score freely and has no chance of coming back without letting up less than three goals each game.

  8. florida727 - Jun 4, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I’ve been a Hawks fan since my uncle used to take us to games in the back of Mayor Daley’s limo (he was one of his bodyguards :) ). Needless to say I want a short, dominant series. But LA still scares me. You can’t dismiss the defending champs that easily. Tonight will go a long way in determining whether this is going to be another long, scratch-it-out series for the Hawks, or if they might end it quickly. If LA has trouble putting the puck in the net like they did in Chicago, there’ll be a new Cup hoister this season.

  9. aldub2010 - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Can blame the hawks who they play in the playoffs so the 7 and 8 seed is bogus. And the 7 seed team isn’t a typical 7 seed. A lot of experience and a hated rival. Also considering the wings were 2-1 against the kings and the wild were 2-1 doesn’t say much for your argument.

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