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Western Conference Battle Royale: The Man (Dis)Advantage

The shortened season and two rounds of the playoffs have rushed by like a freight train. Tomorrow is the first day of June and the four best teams in the NHL take the ice in the conference finals in the quest for the Cup.

For the first time since 1945 the conference finals pit the four previous Stanley Cup Champions against one another. There’s no rest for the Kings or Blackhawks, both seventh game victors and somehow favorites to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford have led their teams from their nets. After a shaky season Quick has not only returned but improved from his Conn Smythe performance from last postsea...

Kings/Sharks Game 6 Preview: The Power Play

Despite the lack of scoring there's a lot to talk about in this series. Darryl Sutter has been adjusting lines masterfully, Logan Couture's comeback in game three, and the great play of Antti Niemi and Jonathan Quick are only a few of the subplots in this exciting series.

But with the Sharks facing elimination tonight the power play is the top priority. Los Angeles and San Jose have had incosinstent power play success often determining the outcome of games this series. Before dissecting the power play rates in this series let's take a look at each teams power play and penalty kill percentages throughout the playoffs.

Kings - Through 11 Games Result/Chances...

Kings vs. Sharks: Through Three Games

Through three games the Kings/Sharks Western Conference Semifinal has been nothing short of fantastic. Entering the series was the Stanley Cup defending champions who disposed of the St. Louis Blues in six games despite falling behind 2-0; the Sharks entered red hot as a team drenched with momentum after easily sweeping the Canucks 4-0.

The two Californian teams play rough styles of hockey that aren't always pretty but are effective for playoff hockey. The Kings won the first two games in different fashion, the first behind the perfect play of Jonathan Quick who shut out the Sharks facing 35 shots and secondly behind some late game heroics in a spectacular comeback win.

2013 Playoffs Round 2 Preview

The first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs are in the books, eight teams have been sent packing to hit the links while eight teams remain to square off in the conference semi-finals. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)

The first round did not disappoint hockey fans who have come to expect physical, fast, dramatic hockey in the playoffs and year after year they are not disappointed.

One year after the Los Angeles Kings became the first eight seed ever to win the Stanley Cup both seven seeds and both six have managed to advance to the semi-finals. The Eastern Conference Semi-final match-ups pit the Pittsburgh Penguins (1) against the Ottawa Senators (7) and the Boston Bruins (4) face off with the New York Rangers (6), while the Western Conference will feature the Chicago Blackhawks (1) who will try to hold off the Detroit Redwings (7) and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings (5) will face their fellow Californians, the San Jose Sharks (6).

Two series start today:

Kings Battle For Fourth Seed

 

 

Preview:  Tonight is the Mullet Game for the Kings (25-14-5; 55 points): business in the front; party in the back. Vancouver’s 2-1 SO win last night over Detroit launches the Kings into the playoffs. The question now is where do they land and who will they face. Tonight’s game (along with the two against the Wild and one against the Red Wings) will determine their seed as they most likely battle the Sharks for home-ice advantage between the four and five seeds.

Los Angeles still has a lot of business in front of them but fans should celebrate the playoff berth. The opening two weeks of the season saw some awful hockey, inconsistent play by ...

Kings Fall Apart

It's hard to win when you allow four goals in the final period. The Kings gave up four consecutive goals in the final twenty minutes resulting in a 5-1 loss to the Stars in Dallas. On the bright side the Columbus Blue Jackets blanked the fifth place San Jose Sharks, 4-0 tonight.

The Kings finish the night in fourth place in the Western Conference as the shortened season races toward its finish line. 

Drew Doughty's power play goal 1:13 into the game seems like an eternity ago. After Doughty's tally the Kings fell victim to a Stars' strategy that stifled the Kings. Anze Kopitar fed Doughty who banged in his fourth goal of the season past Kari Lehtone...

Game Preview: Showdown in Anaheim

 

Preview: There could be a lot on the line for tonight’s Southern California battle. The Kings (22-13-3; 47 points) make the short trip to Anaheim to take on the Ducks (25-8-5; 55 points) tonight at 6. Tonight’s contest marks the final ten games in the season for both teams. Los Angeles currently sits in second place in the Pacific Division trailing the Ducks by eight points. The Kings final game against Anaheim will be next Saturday at the Staples Center.

Since the winner of each division is reserved a top three seed for the playoffs winning the Pacific Division provides plenty of advantages. A chance to pick up two points on the Ducks and set the ton...

Blackhawks Down: Chicago drops second straight to visiting Los Angeles Kings

 

Dustin Brown scored his twelfth goal of the season with under two minutes remaining to hand the Chicago Blackhawks (24-4-3) their fourth regulation loss of the season in a wild affair that saw the Blackhawks surrender three one-goal leads.

The victory put Los Angeles (18-12-2) ahead of the idle St. Louis Blues for sixth place in the crowded Western Conference race, and moved them within striking distance of division-leading Anaheim. The Kings currently sit ten points back of a suddenly struggling Ducks team with sixteen to play. With two of those remaining games coming against Anaheim, it’s not inconceivable to think that last year’s Stanley Cup Champio...

Kings Sweep Flames, 3-1

Tonight's game marked the halfway point of the season and unfortunately for the Kings their last meeting against Calgary. The teams took the ice tonight after playing Saturday night where the Kings erupted for a 6-2 win. The Kings 3-1 victory tonight puts them in third place in the Western Conference a position, which didn't seem possible a couple of weeks ago. 

The Flames changed things up by starting Joey MacDonald in the net. MacDonald played well making 19 saves on 21 shots. 

Dustin Brown scored the opening goal 5:39 into the game. Slava Voynov found Dustin Brown wide open on the left side of the crease on the Kings only extra man opportunity of the night...

Game Preview: Flames vs Los Angeles Kings

The Flames head back to the Staples Center tonight to conclude their back-to-back and season series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have had the Flames number this season, routing them 6-2 on Saturday night and 3-1 on February 20th in Calgary, and will go for season sweep tonight.