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PHT Morning Skate: Blackhawks, Kings ready for historic Game 7

Jun 1, 2014, 9:09 AM EDT

Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) and right wing Justin Williams (14) battle for the puck against Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) during the first period in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) AP

Game 7: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Series is tied at 3-3] (8:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The last series against the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks was a bit anticlimactic with Chicago taking out the then defending Stanley Cup champions in five games. When the Blackhawks claimed Game 1 of this series, it marked their eighth win over the Kings in nine meetings.

These are two of the best franchises in recent history, but it was so one-sided that it was hard to even call them rivals.

“A rivalry only exists when the other team wins,” Kings forward Justin Williams said following Game 1. “We haven’t beat them yet. We have that set for us and we need to rise to the challenge.”

Williams found the back of the net late in the second period of Game 2, starting a run of six unanswered Kings goals to even the series. Less than two weeks later, there’s no question that these teams are true rivals.

“I think this series deserves a Game 7,” Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said, per the Chicago Tribune. “I think that the crowd deserves it too. I think it’s going to be a great finish to a great series. Hopefully we’ll be the winner.”

It will be worth keeping an eye on Williams tonight. He already has six goals and 12 points in six career Game 7s. That’s one shy of the points record held by Doug Gilmour and a goal short of the Glenn Anderson’s Game 7 record, per NHL.com. The Kings can also lean on one of the best Game 7 coaches in the history of the league.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter is tied for the most career Game 7 victories (six in nine attempts) with legendary bench bosses Pat Burns and Scotty Bowman. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville has plenty of success to draw on too. In fact, he has an opportunity tonight to become the fourth coach in history to record his 100th postseason victory.

Los Angeles would also become the first team to advance to the Stanley Cup Final after playing in the full 21 games through three rounds.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to become the first team to ever overcome 3-1 series deficits in back-to-back campaigns after pulling it off against the Detroit Red Wings last year. They’ll be led by Patrick Kane, who has pushed Chicago this far by scoring two goals and seven points in his last two contests. His counterpart, Jonathan Toews, is on a four-game point streak.

But most importantly, the winner tonight will go to face the New York Rangers with an opportunity to claim the Stanley Cup for either the third time in five years (Chicago) or second time in three campaigns (Los Angeles).

  1. toews19 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Let’s Go Hawks!!!

    • puckluckpost - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      Let’s Go Kings!!!

      • barkar942 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Let’s go 7 overtimes!!!!
        Signed,
        A Rangers fan.
        Seriously, hope it is a good close game!

  2. terrier92 - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Let’s go hockey!!!

    • toews19 - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Win or lose, this series has been great for the game of hockey

  3. hockeyornothing - Jun 1, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Go Hawks!

  4. mexiam - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Go kings!

  5. patthehockeyfan - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    GKG!!!

  6. avscup - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Either way, Rags are in trouble. This could be the last great game of the season.

    • barkar942 - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      The Rangers have surprised everyone through three rounds, and are 3-1 against these two teams this year. All of you western fans are in for a huge surprise at how well the Rangers are playing. And, they love the underdog role and playing on the road.

    • comeonnowguys - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      Translation: they are going to “accidentally” injure tonight’s winning goalie in Game 1.

      • holeecowman - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        lol the penguins aren’t playing.

  7. bhawksrule - Jun 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    This game will be insane

  8. bobc74 - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    If you only see 1 hockey game in your life, this should be the one. Yet, the idiots at NBC don’t seem to care. It’s not like there’s anything really important on NBC prime time this evening that they couldn’t push off to show this game to everyone in the country, not just those who pay for the NBCSN network.

    • joey4id - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      LOL! do you seriously think there is mass interest for a nationwide hockey game? Money trumps all, and money is not big enough for a prime time hockey game on Sunday for a national TV broadcast. Engage brain before engaging fingers. ;-)

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        You would be right except for this game. You have the #3 market in the country doing a 16 rating for game 5 and I’m not sure what it did Friday night. I’d be willing to bet when the final ratings come out, game 7 does a close to 20 in Chicago.

      • joey4id - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Why do you think NBC & the NHL are giving up huge profits by way of ads revenue?

    • barbaracorry - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      I agree, Bob. You have the last two Stanley Cup winners duking it out…mano a mano. They are both very motivated. My guess is that they will be playing their hearts out. It should be a great game and some excellent hockey. I can’t wait to see what happens. Actually, it will be a tough loss for whomever loses

  9. nightfireop - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    unless the kings can surprise me, they’ve shown their best in game 6 and are all spent by now. unlike the sharks and ducks, the blackhawks are a true champion and knows what it takes to win regardless the situation. i have to say i’ve enjoyed my king’s incredible resilience and take california for the win (and win a hollywood ending cup in 2012 as the 8th seed)….but yea, unless they purposefully hid some more tricks up their sleeves, the star align to the hawk’s favor tonight and they know it.

    • barbaracorry - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      One can hope, nightfire.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Don’t underestimate the Kings. Yes, San Jose is mentally soft, and will be until Jumpin Joe no longer wears the “C” on his jersey. Yes, Anaheim has talent, but they are mentally soft too. I think losing in 7 at home to Detroit last year still sticks in their mind and they can’t get past it. Yes, the Hawks are mentally strong, but so are the Kings.

      As I’ve said time and time again, if LA wins 55-60% at the dot, they will win. They will control the puck and force their style on the Hawks.

  10. sumkat - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    I don’t get this site insisting on the overuse of the word “historic”. They said the same thing about the NYR/Pitt game 7, here were less than a month later and nobody cares

  11. isphet71 - Jun 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    How are we supposed to decide between game of thrones and the hockey game? My god, I haven’t been this conflicted since someone asked me if I liked Kirk or Picard more…

  12. bighossa - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Let’s go Hawks

  13. comeonnowguys - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    My prediction: A man that was hired to coach the Chicago Blackhawks and a recent Cup-winning goalie will be victorious.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Go out on a limb there……….

  14. tfilarski - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    #freemorin

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Coach Stache will do the same thing he did for Game 7 as he did for Game 6. Brookbank will be there as a pivot guy in case a D man struggles or someone on O gets hurt.

  15. holeecowman - Jun 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    news flash Crosby and malkin have been spotted in a local rainbow establishment giving out gummies and handies while taking some greek fudge packing by the leagues top brass in exchange for another dirty season in 14-15.
    on another note letang was seen leaveing the establishment a little early walking funny and complaining his jaw was hurting.

    • dueman - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      ^Looks like somebody’s been thumbing himself^

  16. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 1, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Hawks are likely favored due to home ice. Key factor will be Shaw’s status/ability. If he’s healthy enough to effectively center Kane and Saad, Kings have a dilema – due to put you r top defenders out against this or the Toes/Hossa/Bickel line?

  17. slysipops - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    will history repeat itself ? ………. hope so ! GO HAWKS GO !

    • slysipops - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    • slysipops - Jun 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

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