Blackhawks and Kings looking to build momentum in Conference clash

After their shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night, the Blackhawks (33-10-14) are continuing the Californian leg of their road trip in Los Angeles, facing the Los Angeles Kings (30-21-6). The Kings themselves dropped their last game against the Philadelphia Flyers and they are on a 3 game losing streak. The Hawks, in their past 3, have 2 overtime/shootout losses and one win.

 

These two teams are the best in the league in terms of puck possession; the Kings are the best defensive team around, while the Blackhawks are one of the most offensive-minded teams in the league. Games between these conference rivals are always a physical battle.

 

However, the Kings are really struggling getting pucks in the back of the net; it’s been 6 games in which they scored one goal or less, while the Blackhawks scored 16 in their last 6. The Kings’ lead goalscorer, Jeff Carter, only has 1 goal and 1 assist to his name in the past 6, while Anze Kopitar, leader in points, registers 3 goals over the same period. There is very little points production in the team despite outshooting their opponents regularly.

 

The Blackhawks themselves have had better production in the last few games, even if they only managed to score one goal in 60 minutes against the San Jose Sharks, which showed the strength of the Sharks’ defense. Patrick Kane is still in the lead in points, followed closely by Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews. In trouble is Bryan Bickell who has been healthy scratched a few games recently, as coach Joel Quenneville tries to jumpstart his offense.

 

In net, for the Blackhawks, Corey Crawford is probable, while Jonathan Quick should be between the pipes for the Kings.

 

Last Game Lines:

 

Blackhawks

Hossa - Toews - Sharp

Kane - Pirri - Versteeg

Handzus - Shaw - Saad

Bollig - Kruger - Smith

 

Keith - Seabrook

Hjalmarsson - Oduya

Leddy - Roszival

 

Kings

Toffoli - Kopitar - Carter

Brown - Richards - Williams

King - Stoll - Lewis

Clifford - Fraser - Nolan

 

Muzzin - Doughty

Voynov - Regehr

Greene - Mitchell

 

Game time is 10.30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on NHLN-CA, WGN and FS-W.

 

Follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks on Twitter, and you can find me at @hockeyfied.