May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) looks for the puck as Chicago Blackhawks players Corey Crawford (50) , Duncan Keith (2) , Michal Rozsival (32) and Kris Versteeg (23) defend the net during the third period in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The La Kings have taken control of the Western Conference final with an impressive 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game2. This was the first home playoff loss for the Blackhawks this season and the first since Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals last season. The Kings overtook the Blackhawks after trailing for two periods. The Kings are getting great play from Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli. The Kings could be licking their chops when the Blackhawks enter the Staples Center. The Kings have taken home ice advantage away from the Blackhawks.
Kings Keys to the Game:
1. Score first: In the playoffs this season the Blackhawks rarely lose when scoring first. The Kings need to get on the score sheet early.
2. Jeff Carter needs to score on the PP: Carter has scored four power playoff goals these playoffs. His power play goal in Game 2 tied the game early in the third period.
3. Jonathan Quick needs to be ELITE: The Blackhawks seems to give Quick fits over his career. They seemed to be doing the same in Game 2, but in the third period Quick became a wall and shut out the Hawks. Quick needs to be on his game tonight.
It is no big secret that the Blackhawks do not play well in the first road game of a playoff series. The Blackhawks have not won the first road game of a playoff series this season. The Blackhawks have not won the first road game of a playoff series since 5-05-2010 against the Vancouver Canucks. That is not a good sign for the Blackhawks tonight. Everyone expects Corey Crawford to rebound from a poor third period in Game 2 and the Blackhawks should be energized by the return of Andrew Shaw.
Blackhawks Keys to the Game:
1. Come out hard: The Blackhawks seem to come out flat in the first road game of a series. The Blackhawks need energy to combat the home crowd.
2. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane need to get going. Toews and Kane were the invisible men in Game 2. Toews had ZERO shots on goal in Game2 in 18:49 minutes of ice time. Kane had a similar stat line with two shots in 18:24 of ice time. They have ZERO POINTS between the two of them. The Blackhawks need their super stars in Game 3.
3. Corey Crawford needs to rebound: Crawford saved 25 of 30 shots in Game 2 for a save percentage of .833%. This was the worst game of the playoffs for Crawford. Before Game 2 Crawford was the best player for the Blackhawks and the best player in the playoffs. The Blackhawks need him to resume his ELITE level of play.
The Blackhawks will take on the Kings at 7pm today at the Staples Center.
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