Blackhawks to try and take Game 3 in LA
The Blackhawks are headed to Los Angeles to play Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the LA Kings, who beat the Hawks on Chicago ice last Wednesday. The Kings won 6-2, scoring 5 goals in the last frame of the game.
The Blackhawks’ defense struggled in the last period of Game 2 against a determined, offensive-minded LA team. After dominating for most of the game and scoring twice, the Blackhawks let the game get away from them. They should be very eager to try and get one or two away from the Kings while playing in Los Angeles.
In the meantime, the LA Kings are not a team to give up without a fight. They came back from a 3-0 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks in the first round, and battled all the way to a Game 7 in their second round against the Anaheim Ducks, as well.
They’re a healthy team, with only Robyn Regehr out of the lineup. The Blackhawks have had to play without Andrew Shaw for 7 games, but he should be returning to the Chicago lineup tonight for Game 3. Both these teams have managed to stay healthy during their playoffs rounds, and both teams are full of skill and physicality.
This is a series that has already showcased great hockey, exciting hockey, and it should be the case still in the rest of the games. Despite thinking that this series could be easily won by the Blackhawks, who won last years Western Conference Final against the same LA Kings, it is too easy to discount the Kings. They are leading the playoffs in points - Anze Kopitar has been tremendous for his team, as well as Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik. The Blackhawks are not to be taken lightly, either, with Captain Jonathan Toews leading the charge. Goaltending, for both teams, is solid; Corey Crawford gets steadily better as the playoffs go on, despite the 3rd period of his last game, and Jonathan Quick has nothing to prove anymore, a seasoned playoffs goalie that lead his team to a Cup in 2012.
Game 3 airs tonight at 8.00pm ET, and can be seen on CBC, NBC, and RDS.