Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks look to eliminate the Los Angeles Kings Saturday in game five. The Blackhawks are -173 favorites over the Kings.
The Blackhawks took a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Kings on a 3-2 victory at the Staples Center. With the win, Chicago improved to 3-4 on the road and handed Los Angeles their first defeat on home ice during the postseason. Marian Hossa netted the winner just 1:10 in to the third period and the Hawks defense stifled the Kings attack which managed a mere two shots on goal over the final 20 minutes. The special teams continued their shutdown play by killing their 54th short handed situation in 56 tries. Patrick Kane also lit the lamp, while Bryan Bickell scored and handed out an assist. Corey Crawford stopped 19 shots to pick up the win and put his team on the brink of the Stanley Cup Finals.
With the mystique of the home ice gone, Los Angeles faces a must win scenario when they travel to Chicago for game five. The Kings led early when Kyle Clifford took the puck from behind the net and fed Slava Voynov in the slot who rifled the disc past Crawford. Los Angeles took the lead again in the second when Dustin Penner knocked in a puck that Jeff Carter shoved towards the front of the net. The LAK missed out on a golden opportunity just a few minutes later when Justin Williams got loose on a breakaway but lost control on a poke check from Crawford. Jonathan Quick made 25 saves in the defeat in a game that will be best remembered for the Kings offense unable to get but two shots on goal and were unable to take advantage of the suspension to defenseman Duncan Keith.
I think the Kings might have flown under the radar a bit when they captured the Stanley Cup a year ago, but they have the full attention of Chicago who is simply playing well. I always say that trends at this point of the season don’t matter as much to me as momentum does and the Blackhawks seem to have plenty of steam right now.
Chicago Blackhawks -173 Los Angeles Kings