The Los Angeles Kings are doing their best to duplicate their opening round effort against the St. Louis Blues. In that round, they lost the opening two games on the round and returned home to win the next 2 and tie the series. With the Kings’ 3-1 game 3 win over the Blackhawks they are half way there and will take a shot at evening the series at 2 games a piece on home ice tonight, before heading back to Chicago for game 5.
It has been a story of two teams during these playoffs, the Kings at the Staples Center who have gone 8-0 and the Kings of the road who have gone 1-7. The Kings go into tonight’s game in hopes of keeping that home record blemish free and moving to 9-0.
In order for the Kings to do so they will need players like Justin Williams, who has scored 4 goals in his last 4 games,Jeff Carter (6 goals, 11 points) and Slava Voynov, who scored his 4th game winning goal in game 3, to continue their offensive push.
The Kings are still unsure if they will have Mike Richards in the line-up tonight as well. Richards missed game 3 due to a concussion he received in game 2 against Chicago. He did skate for about 20 minutes yesterday with the Kings extra skaters, but the Kings have yet to make anything official on his status.
Perhaps the biggest piece of the puzzle, and it always seems to be, will be Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick. After being pulled about halfway through game 2 in Chicago, many questioned how quick would bounce back the next game. Well, he answered his critics with a 1 goal against and 20 save performance to pull the Kings back into this series.
Quick will need to be on his game once again tonight.
The Kings will try to do much of what they did in game 3 tonight in game 4. They came out hard and jumped on the Blackhawks scoring the first goal and not allowing the Blackhawks to pick up any momentum until late in the game.
“We had guys, every line physical, finishing checks, we got some hits on their key guys, which we didn’t get a lot of in previous games. It’s not one or two guys, it’s guys on every line, every D pair. It’s a matter of understanding why that makes us successful and repeating it.” -Dustin Brown, MayorsManor.com
The Kings were just that, successful, they sustained pressure, got opportunities and out shot the Blackhawks. The Kings need to mimic that performance tonight if they want any chance of heading back to the windy city with a tied series.
What do you think the outcome will be? Will the Kings go back to Chicago down 3-1 or will they get back to Chicago with a series tied at 2?