May 26, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT
Game 4 at Staples Center has a bit of a funky feel to it.
The Los Angeles Kings have a 2-1 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks and have looked rather convincing winning Games 2 and 3. The Kings’ wins in Games 2 and 3 have seen the offense look strong. Chicago will look to tie up the series tonight, but they’ll need to see the Corey Crawford from the previous rounds to make an appearance.
Game 4: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Los Angeles leads series 2-1] (9:00 p.m. — NBCSN)
The talk following Game 3 was all about how well the Kings’ second line played. “That 70s Line” made up of Jeff Carter at center and youngsters Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson has given Chicago everything they can handle. The success that line had in Game 3 threw the Blackhawks for a loop and it’s Carter’s ability to finish that has coach Darryl Sutter raving.
The big issue for Chicago matching up with that line has been at center. Carter’s play up the middle has made Michal Handzus, Peter Regin, and Andrew Shaw look bad and created issues matching up against them. With Jonathan Toews busy matching up against Anze Kopitar, the Kings have won the battle with their other lines.
That issue along with Crawford coming back to Earth in the past two games has made things feel a bit uneasy for the ‘Hawks. For what it’s worth, L.A.’s success hasn’t gone to Dustin Brown‘s head, so he’s got that going for him which is nice. Joel Quenneville hasn’t looked into making any drastic changes for Game 4 and that means it’s up to the same crew to figure things out.
What to watch for: If Patrick Sharp‘s late goal in Game 3 was the thing he needed to start turning his game around.
- Habs sign Petry to a six-year, $33 million extension 15
- ‘Home-grown talent’ a staple of Blackhawks and Lightning 4
- A holdover from the ‘dark days,’ does Sharp have a future in Chicago? 43
- Bishop: ‘Taller guys…can be just as athletic as the smaller guys’ 6
- Tire pump? Yzerman says Toews is ‘bigger, stronger, better’ than he was 20
- Devils officially announce John Hynes, becomes youngest NHL coach 9
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 6
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 86
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (86)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Is it fair to hold cap teams to old dynasty standards? (74)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)