Los Angeles at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Sunday, June 2, 2013
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Los Angeles Kings faced little resistance on the road during last season's impressive run to the Stanley Cup. This year's path has been paved with pitfalls, however, as the fifth-seeded Kings will look to overcome their troubles away from Staples Center and level their Western Conference final series at one game apiece on Sunday, when they visit the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Sharp scored his NHL-leading eighth goal and Marian Hossa tallied nearly four minutes later in the second period as the Blackhawks skated to a 2-1 triumph in Game 1 on Saturday.
The final score certainly is a familiar one for Los Angeles, which has lost all six of its postseason contests by that same result. The setback dropped the Kings to 1-6 away from home - a stark contrast to their 10-1 mark during last season's playoffs. Corey Crawford turned aside 21 shots as Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago improved to 7-1 at the United Center.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS
ABOUT THE KINGS: Jonathan Quick deserved a better fate after stopping all 17 shots he faced in the first period and 34 overall. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner allowed goals following a rebound and a deflection in the second session before closing the door. Justin Williams followed up his magnificent Game 7 performance versus San Jose with his third goal in two contests - although he technically didn't even shoot the puck on his first-period goal on Saturday. Chicago's Dave Bolland attempted to clear the puck from the slot, but it bounced off Williams' stick and inside the right post.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: While Bolland's brutal hit on Los Angeles' Mike Richards late in the third period brought the United Center fans to their feet, it also may receive some attention from the league. Richards was behind the net when he elected to change course in an attempt to tuck the puck inside the near post. Bolland appeared to leave his feet when delivering a hit to the chin of Richards, who had trouble regaining his faculties as he skated to the bench. "I just came in and hit him," Bolland said matter-of-factly. "It's a quick game. It's a hard-hitting game. It's just the way it is."
1. After killing off both of Los Angeles' power plays, Chicago has yet to yield a goal in 23 short-handed situations at home in the playoffs. In total, the Blackhawks are 42-for-43 on the penalty kill.
2. D Duncan Keith led Chicago in ice time (23:55) and matched LW Bryan Bickell for the team lead with five shots.
3. The reason for the quick turnaround between games stems from a Rolling Stones concert, which is scheduled for Monday at the United Center.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 2, Kings 0
Stats and Records