Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Preview: Kings At Blackhawks

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[May 21, 2014]  The Chicago Blackhawks look to continue their dominating play at United Center on Wednesday, when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference final. The reigning Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks have won all seven of their home contests this postseason and 18 of their last 20 playoff games in their own building - matching the mark of the high-flying Edmonton Oilers from 1988-90. After defeating Los Angeles in all three meetings in the Windy City in last year's conference final, Chicago received a power-play goal and an assist from Brandon Saad en route to a 3-1 triumph in Game 1 on Sunday.

While the result was not the desired one, Los Angeles has proven to be a resilient team as it became the fourth club in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit by upending San Jose in the first round before rallying from a 3-2 hole against Anaheim in the second. "I think we played fine, but as (coach Darryl Sutter) would say, "OK is not OK," Willie Mitchell said. The Kings defenseman recorded two hits in his return following an eight-game absence due to a lower-body injury.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS

ABOUT THE KINGS: Anze Kopitar leads the league in playoff scoring with 19 points but did not register a single shot in Game 1 and was held off the scoresheet for just the second time in 15 postseason games. Linemate Marian Gaborik, who leads the NHL with nine goals, was able to record three shots but failed to secure a point for the second time in nine contests. Tanner Pearson collected a point for the second straight game after his centering feed from along the end line was redirected home by Tyler Toffoli early in the second period for Los Angeles' lone tally.


ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: Andrew Shaw is in line to make his return from a six-game absence on Wednesday. The gritty Shaw has been sidelined with a lower-body injury, suffered when he was on the receiving end of a check from Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner during the second-round series. Chicago won four of the six contests without Shaw, who recorded 20 goals and 19 assists during the regular season and had two of each in the playoffs.

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OVERTIME

1. The Blackhawks thwarted two power-play opportunities for the Kings in Game 1 and have killed off 44-of-48 short-handed situations in the playoffs.

2. Los Angeles G Jonathan Quick yielded three goals on 20 shots on Sunday and has allowed 28 tallies in his team's seven losses. By comparison, Quick has permitted 11 goals in the Kings' eight victories.

3. Chicago G Corey Crawford's 1.90 goals-against average leads the league while his save percentage of .933 trails only Henrik Lundqvist (.934) of the New York Rangers.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Kings 2

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