The Los Angeles Kings enter tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with a chance to even their Western Conference Finals matchup at one game a piece before the series transitions to Los Angeles.
Game one went to the Blackhawks as they beat the Kings 3-1 to open up the series.
This is the second time in as many years that these two teams have met with a chance to qualify for the Stanley Cup Final. Last year, Chicago was victorious in in five games and if the Kings want to avoid that same fate they will need to avoid putting themselves in any type of hole.
Although the Kings have already overcome several obstacles this post season in coming back from being down 0-3 in a series to the San Jose Sharks and winning games six and seven in order to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks, if they keep playing with fire they will eventually get burnt. Going down 0-2 to the defending Stanley Cup Champions may just be that flame that burns them.
If the Kings want to even the series they will have to hand Chicago their first loss at the United Center during these playoffs. The Blackhawks are a perfect 7-0 when on home ice this post season and have outscored their opponents 25-9 in front of the home town crowd.
A bright spot from game one was the play of the Kings’ top rookies, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. The two connected for the Kings’ lone goal and tied the game at one in the second period. The Blackhawks however never trailed as they scored later in the period to regain the lead.
Toffoli and Pearson, who have combined for 15-points during these playoffs, will have to continue to contribute if the Kings want to even the series before returning to Staples Center for games three and four.
Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. local time.