All the talk swirling around this series for the past two days has centered around the Kings' dominance at home. Through two series, Los Angeles has been 7-0 at home, despite a mostly-poor road performance.
In tonight's game at the Staples Center, the Blackhawks played like they expected the Kings to win. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't until the third period that they looked like they realized they didn't need to give the game away.
On the positive side: despite poor play for two periods, being out-shot (28-20; 60-40 once factoring in all shot attempts) and out-hit, despite being just 41% on the dot and 15 giveaways, the Blackhawks limited the King...
As of tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks have now won five straight games in the playoffs. It's not the same streak as the one that started the season, but it's certainly one that they'll take, because it means they're off to a 2-0 start in the Western Conference Final.
It didn't take long for the Blackhawks to score in game 2; Andrew Shaw dented the twine just 1:56 into the first. The Blackhawks took two penalties during the period, but the Kings couldn't convert, even while outshooting Chicago 13-9. Brent Seabrook hammered in a second goal with 51 seconds remaining in the first to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead.
The phrase ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was originally used by the British government as a motivational tool to boost morale during World War II.
One could say the Chicago Blackhawks could adopt that phrase after the way they have played in the past week. Despite going into the second period down 1-0 and outshooting the Los Angeles Kings 17-2, the Blackhawks found a way to take the first game of the Western Conference Finals.
The Blackhawks edged the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-1 Saturday night in front of a raucous United Center crowd. The Madison Street Hockey Club has won four in row after climbing out of a 3-1 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings.
Could the Stanley Cup Conference Final round have turned out any better? The NHL could not have dreamed that after the lockout-shortened season that the Final Four would be Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.
In the West, it comes down to the reigning Stanley Cup champs, the Los Angeles Kings, and this year's Presidents' Trophy winner, the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams have very distinct personalities, and the series has all the ingredients for an epic series.
Storylines? Check - on both ends of the ice.
Both teams want to prove a point - check. The Kings hope to become the first repeat Cup winners since the Red Wings last did it fift...
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...
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.
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.
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).
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 ...
Preview: The Kings (24-14-4; 52 points) look to end their local road woes as they head to San Jose to take on the Sharks (22-13-7; 51 points) tonight at 7:30. The Kings enter in fourth place in the Western Conference with the Sharks in fifth, only one point behind. With seven games left the Kings playoff chances look secure as long as they can avoid a major collapse.
The Kings have lost three road games in a row and the Sharks have one of the best home-ice records in the league. There’s a good possibility that the Kings could meet the Sharks in the first round of the playoffs, making tonight’s game not only preview but a battle for the better se...