Blackhawks Homestand Continues Against Kings: Game Preview

CHI vs LAK
02/17/2013
2:30pm CST

The Chicago Blackhawks (11-0-3) face off against the Los Angeles Kings (5-5-2) for the second time in this shortened season on Sunday at 2:30pm at the United Center. The Hawks defeated last year’s Stanley Cup Champions just four weeks ago by a final tally of 5-2 in the league's season opener in Los Angeles.

The Blackhawks are coming off a decisive 4-1 harpooning of the San Jose Sharks on Friday night, a game in which Chicago outshot their opponent 37-28 and got near-perfect goaltending from “back-up” netminder Ray Emery, who made 27 saves over the course of the contest.

Chicago’s win on Friday night, their 11th of the year, improved their record to 11-0-3, placing them in some very elite company. Only three other teams in the history of the NHL have started a season with points in their first fourteen games:

Team Games Season Result
Anaheim Ducks 16 2006-2007 Won Stanley Cup
Edmonton Oilers 15 1984-1985 Won Stanley Cup
Montreal Canadiens 14 1943-1944 Won Stanley Cup
Chicago Blackhawks 14* 2012-2013 ???

*Streak still active

Time will tell if this year’s Blackhawks squad will experience the same success as those other teams, but at this point in the season it seems difficult to imagine otherwise for fans of the red, black and white.

Los Angeles also won their last contest, edging out the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 in the first home game for the Kings since January. The Kings played more like last season's iteration of themselves in that tilt, holding Columbus to just 13 shots while only taking 22 themselves.

According to this report from ESPNChicago’s Scott Powers, Ray Emery will be playing in his second consecutive start for the first time this season as Hawks primary goaltender Corey Crawford remains day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Crawford has posted an impressive 7-0-3 record with a 0.935 SV% and 1.65 GAA, but the Blackhawks likely shan’t be missing him too greatly on Sunday, as Ray Emery has collected rather impressive numbers, himself. In his four starts this year, Emery has four wins and a 2.21 GAA with a 0.930 SV%. He’s been especially strong in his last three starts, where he’s allowed a total of 5 goals with a 0.949 SV%.

Team Stats:

Blackhawks STAT Kings
25 P 12
0.893 P% 0.500
3.36 G/G 2.25
1.86 GA/G 2.67
18.3 PP% 12.5
92.2 PK% 81.1
29.2 S/G 29.4

Injury Report:

Chicago will be without Corey Crawford (upper body, day-to-day), Dan Carcillo (lower body, timeline TBD), and Steve Montador (upper body, not practicing with team).
Los Angeles remains without defensemen Matt Greene and Alec Martinez, who are both on the team’s Injured Reserve list

Blackhawks record: 11-0-3
Kings record: 5-5-2
Time: 2:30pm CST
Location: United Center
Where to watch: NBC, TSN2
Where to listen: WGN 720, KTLK 1150 AM
Next 2 games: Tues 2/19 v VAN, Fri 2/22 v SJS

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