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Kings-Blackhawks: A first look at Western Conference finals

Chicago took two of three during the regular season from the Kings, with a split at the United Center.

May 29, 2013|By Lisa Dillman

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The Blackhawks ruined the Kings' Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration on Jan. 19 at Staples Center, winning that season-opening game, 5-2. Overall, Chicago took two of three games against the Kings, splitting the other two games at the United Center. The Blackhawks won, 3-2, on Feb. 17 and the Kings won the last time the teams met, 5-4, on March 25, with Kings captain Dustin Brown scoring the winning goal with 1:27 remaining. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews was the best player on the ice in the season series, scoring three goals and six points in the three games. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter got off one of his better lines before the Feb. 17 meeting when Chicago had not lost yet in regulation, saying: "They're not on a different planet than us."

Top scorers, season

Kings: Anze Kopitar 10 goals, 42 points; Justin Williams 11 goals, 33 points; Jeff Carter 26 goals, 33 points.

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane 23 goals, 55 points; Toews 23 goals, 48 points; Marian Hossa 17 goals, 31 points.


Kings: Jonathan Quick: 18-13-4, 2.45 goals-against average, .902 save percentage. The back surgery Quick had in the off-season is in the rearview mirror and Quick is displaying the form that won him the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs last season.

Blackhawks: Corey Crawford: 19-5-5, 1.94 goals-against average, .926 save percentage. In fact, he was one of the question marks going into the regular season for the Blackhawks and came up with all the answers.

Penalty kill

Kings: 83.2% (10th). Blackhawks: 87.2% (3rd)

Power play

Kings: 19.9% (10th). Blackhawks: 16.7% (19th)

Worth noting

Kings: Sutter has not been known to be a "matchup" guy, but he was willing to shuffle the deck in the latter stages of the series against the San Jose Sharks. One move involved dropping Brown to the third line and moving winger Kyle Clifford up with Kopitar and Williams. The burning question now: Does he play Kopitar against the dynamic Toews or does he opt for center Mike Richards?

Blackhawks: They faced adversity in rallying from a 3-1 series deficit against the Detroit Red Wings, the 25th time it has happened in the NHL. Toews, who wasn't good early, was good when it mattered, regaining his lost composure. Defenseman Brent Seabrook bounced back from a tough start of the series to score the overtime winner in Game 7.

Last time in the playoffs

Kings: 2012. They are trying to become the first team to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive years since the Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998. Last year, they were the first No. 8 seed to take the Cup.

Blackhawks: 2012. Chicago, which won the 2010 Cup, lost to the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round in six games, with the first five games going to overtime.

They said it

Kings: Quick, on winning two rounds in the playoffs: "We're only halfway up the mountain."

Blackhawks: Seabrook, on the thrilling finish of Game 7 against the Red Wings: "It's always something you think about, scoring an overtime winner, Game 7. I love overtime. I think it's exciting and a lot of fun. It's a fun part of the game and the stakes are really high."

Twitter: @reallisa

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