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NHL PLAYOFFS

Western Conference Preview Capsules

April 11, 2001|ROY JURGENS

No. 2 DETROIT

vs.

No. 7 KINGS

Best of seven

Wednesday at Detroit, 4 p.m.

Saturday at Detroit, 10 a.m.

Sunday at KINGS, 8:30 p.m.

April 18 at KINGS, 7:30 p.m.

April 21 *at Detroit, noon

April 23 *at KINGS, 7:30 p.m.

April 25 *at Detroit, 4 p.m.

* if necessary; all times Pacific

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records: Detroit 49-20-9-4. Kings 38-28-13-3.

* Season series: Tied 1-1-1

* Coaches: DET--Scotty Bowman, 205-119 (.633) in playoffs. LA--Andy Murray, 0-4 (.000) in playoffs.

* Scouting report: A year ago, the Red Wings destroyed the Kings in four games. This season the task won't be quite as easy. The Red Wings are nearly as strong as ever but a year older. Steve Yzerman is still the heart and soul of this team, and underappreciated Niklas Lidstrom had another Norris Trophy-caliber season. Sergei Fedorov had 32 goals, although he failed to score in the last 10 games. Bad news for the Kings, the series opens in Detroit, where the Wings put together a 19-game unbeaten string to end the regular season. The Kings spent much of the season distracted until Rob Blake was traded to Colorado, then jelled as a team while the defensive unit actually improved after his departure. Wingers Ziggy Palffy and Luc Robitaille had excellent seasons. The Kings haven't won a playoff series since Wayne Gretzky led them to the finals in 1993.

* Goaltending: After a shaky start, Detroit's Chris Osgood got his game together in the second half of the season. When the Kings claimed Felix Potvin off Vancouver's scrap heap, hardly an eye was raised. All Potvin did was post a 1.96 goals-against average, five shutouts and 13 wins while leading the Kings to the playoffs.

* Team leaders: DET--Sergei Fedorov (32 goals), Niklas Lidstrom (56 assists). Brendan Shanahan (76 points). LA--Ziggy Palffy (38 goals, 89 points), Palffy and Luc Robitaille (51 assists).

* Late-season additions: DET--None. LA--G Felix Potvin, LW Adam Deadmarsh, D Aaron Miller.

* Injury report: DET--D Chris Chelios (thumb) 1-2 weeks; RW Darren McCarty (ankle), 1-2 weeks. LA--D Lubomir Visnovsky (knee) day to day; D Aaron Miller (wrist) day to day.

*--*

THE MATCHUPS DET LA Goals scored 253 (5) 252 (6) Goals allowed 202 (8) 228 (17) Power play pct. 22.1 (2) 19.3 (7) Penalty killing 85.7 (6) 81.2 (24) Goals against avg. 2.43 (8) 2.74 (17) Save percentage .909 (6) .894 (21) Avg. penalty min. 13.2 (6) 14.6 (13) Short-handed goals 10 (T10) 14 (4)

*--*

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