Mar 11, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp (10) battles for position with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell (33) in front of goalie Jonathan Quick (32) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Game #15 – Chicago Blackhawks (11-0-3) vs LA Kings (5-5-2)
Game Time– 2:30 pm Central
TV– NBC or TSN2, – WGN 720 Chicago or KLTK AM1150 LA
In a nationally broadcast matchup celebrating US hockey it is Hockey Day in America. The Blackhawks will go back to the very beginning as they face off for the second time this season against the LA Kings. They opened their season in LA but more importantly they started on their journey of perfection as well and an incredible run.
Beyond anyone’s wildest dreams the Blackhawks have rolled on a ride with an upward only trajectory. The Kings have been on a roller coaster ride filed with ups and downs after achieving the ultimate climax last year in winning the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks may have caught the LA Kings coming off an emotional hangover with their banner raising ceremony the first time that they faced off. That will not be the case this time as they meet again in the United Center.
They also may have caught a break in that goalie Jonathan Quick looked rusty coming back from injury. Star forward Anze Kopitar was also out then on injury and is now back in the lineup.
The Blackhawks are looking to continue to remain undefeated in regulation time. If they do they will continue to head towards breaking an NHL record. The Kings would love nothing better than to stop the Hawks.
In their first meeting the play was fairly tame and cordial. Don’t look for this to continue in this game. The Kings are probably sick of hearing how well the Blackhawks are doing and want to end their fun. Look for physical play from the Kings and tight checking to throw the Blackhawks off of their run and gun style. The Hawks rolled to a 5-2 victory look for a much lower scoring and defensive game this time around.
The Kings are coming off of a tight 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. The Blackhawks continued their party at the United Center on Friday as they dominated the Sharks in a 4-1 trouncing.
Corey Crawford is out with an upper body injury so look for Ray Emery once again to man the nets for the Blackhawks. The Kings have not said yet if it will be Quick or Bernier in the LA nets.
For the Hawks to come away with another victory over the Kings they will need to use their speed and breakout of their zone quickly. They will need to not turnover the puck and be patient their opportunities will eventually come.
The Hawks need to watch their giveaways and guard that puck carefully. Conversely if the Kings have a weakness it is their defensive play does not force takeaways.
Strap yourselves in and enjoy what should be another good test for both teams and celebrate Hockey Day in America. Since it is Hockey Day in America I think it is only fitting we have have some goals by Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy.
GO HAWKS and GO USA!
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