NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Sunday, October 12th
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (1-1-0-0) at Chicago Blackhawks (1-1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings conclude a season-opening road trip
tonight when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Following a dramatic 3-2 loss in Detroit on Thursday, Los Angeles rebounded
with a 3-0 triumph over Pittsburgh the following night.
Against the Penguins, Cristobal Huet needed to make a mere 11 saves for his
second career shutout. Making his first start of the season, Huet stopped two
shots in the first period, turned aside six in the second and needed just
three saves in the third to complete the blanking. Roman Cechmanek, obtained
from Philadelphia in the offseason, had started the Kings' opener in net.
Eric Belanger, Trent Klatt and Zigmund Palffy scored in the win. Palffy and
Klatt added assists as LA outshot the Pens by a 49-11 margin.
In Thursday's opener, the Kings surrendered a one-goal lead late in third,
and Cechmanek was then beaten by Steve Yzerman with 1.7 seconds left to decide
As was the case last season, injuries are a concern for LA. Defenseman Aaron
Miller (broken left wrist) and forwards Jason Allison (whiplash) and Adam
Deadmarsh (concussion) began the campaign on the shelf, while captain and
anchor blueliner Mattias Norstrom is out with a chest bruise. Defenseman Tim
Gleason, injured from a knee-on-knee hit versus Pittsburgh, is day-to-day.
The Kings will kick off a seven-game homestand Wednesday against Ottawa.
Chicago, meanwhile, posted an encouraging victory over Minnesota to open the
season, but was brought back to Earth with a 5-0 loss to star-studded
Colorado Friday night in Denver.
Backup goaltender Michael Leighton only stopped 24-of-29 shots for the
Blackhawks, who blanked Minnesota 1-0 on Wednesday. Leighton's NHL resume had
only included eight appearances before facing the potent Avs.
Leighton was beaten by a good portion of Colorado's superstars, as Milan
Hejduk (2 goals), Paul Kariya, Rob Blake and Joe Sakic all scored on him. Hart
Trophy winner Peter Forsberg chipped in three assists.
In Wednesday's opener at the United Center, Jocelyn Thibault stopped 33 shots
for his 36th career shutout, and Tyler Arnason notched the only goal for the
Chicago went 3-1 against Los Angeles last season and is 6-3-3 in the last 12
meetings. The Kings have lost in two straight trips to the Windy City.
10/12 10:10:52 ET