NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, June 4th (All times Eastern)
(1) Chicago Blackhawks (2-0) at (5) Los Angeles Kings (0-2), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings hope to get on the board in the Western Conference finals, as their series against the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks shifts to Southern California for Tuesday's Game 3 battle at Staples Center.
The Blackhawks hosted the defending Stanley Cup champions in Games 1 and 2 and recorded victories in both outings to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set.
Chicago posted a 2-1 decision in Saturday's opener and notched a 4-2 victory in Game 2 on the following day. The Kings, who went 16-4 en route to the franchise's first championship last spring, are now 8-7 in this postseason overall and 1-7 on the road.
However, the fifth-seeded Kings have come back from a 2-0 deficit already this spring. L.A. lost Games 1 and 2 on the road in the first round against St. Louis before winning four straight.
The Blackhawks hope they can avoid the Blues' fate and will try to grab a commanding three games to none lead on Tuesday. Chicago has been using its speed to great effect in this series so far and will aim to keep doing that in L.A., where the Kings boast a 7-0 record in these playoffs.
In fact, the Kings haven't lost a home game since March 23 against the Vancouver Canucks. Including the playoffs, L.A. has won 14 consecutive tilts at Staples Center.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have won five straight overall since trailing Detroit 3-1 in the conference semifinals.
Corey Crawford posted 29 saves and 10 different Blackhawks registered at least one point in Chicago's victory Sunday at United Center. Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook, Michal Handzus and Bryan Bickell each scored once, while Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad added a pair of assists apiece for the Blackhawks.
"We're cycling the puck well," Shaw said. "We're going to the net and taking pucks to the dirty areas. We're rewarded that way."
Chicago also managed to chase Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick from Saturday's game, as the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner surrendered four goals on 17 shots before being removed near the midpoint of the second period. Jonathan Bernier stopped all nine shots he faced in relief for the Kings.
The Game 2 loss ended Quick and the Kings' 34-game playoff streak of not surrendering more than three goals. L.A.'s team mark was seven games longer than the previous NHL record of 27 set by Detroit from 2002-06. Quick's individual record was six starts longer than the old record set by Patrick Roy from 1992-94.
Prior to this series, Quick had a 1.50 GAA and a .948 save percentage to go along with three shutouts in this year's playoffs. He has an .887 save percentage and 4.03 goals against average in the first two games of this series.
Tyler Toffoli tallied a goal and an assist on Sunday for the Kings in place of an injured Mike Richards, who skated in pregame warmups but was unable to play after taking a big hit from Chicago's Dave Bolland late in the third period of LA's 2-1 setback in Game 1.
"I talked to him for a minute before the game," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Richards. "I didn't feel and he didn't feel he should play, either."
Jeff Carter registered the other goal for the Kings, who could be without Richards again in Game 3.
Chicago is 2-3 on the road in this postseason after going 18-4-2 away from the Windy City during the regular season.
Game 4 of this series is scheduled for Thursday night in Los Angeles.
06/04 10:52:23 ET