Posted June 03, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Los Angeles Kings have been in all types of jams during the past two postseasons. Just a few weeks ago, they even escaped the same 0-2 deficit they're now facing in the Western Conference finals.
''We've been here, what, three weeks ago?'' forward Justin Williams asked, referring to the Kings' great escape in the first round against St. Louis. ''Obviously it's not do-or-die (in Game 3), but it is.''
Yet the defending Stanley Cup champions aren't sure they've tangled with an opponent that could match the depth and versatility of the Chicago Blackhawks, who might even be the team to end Los Angeles' 2 1/2-month run of dominance at home.
After back-to-back losses in Chicago, the Kings are hoping they can stay perfect at Staples Center in a crucial Game 3 on Tuesday night. The Kings have won 14 straight at home since March, and they've won seven straight home playoff games dating to last season's Stanley Cup clincher.
The Kings have no idea why they've been unbeatable at Staples Center, but they realize their repeat hopes depend on it.
''Home ice is something we've been able to rely on, and have in our back pocket,'' Williams said Monday after the Kings' team meeting at their training complex. ''I'm (also) not sure why we went 10-1 on the road last year (in the playoffs). Certainly our confidence is high for us coming back home. There's been a lot of success there. We've won every which way there, and it's going to have to continue.''
Even two solid efforts in Chicago by coach Darryl Sutter's estimation weren't enough to turn back the Presidents' Trophy winners, who chased Jonathan Quick out of Game 2 by scoring four goals against the Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie - something nobody had done in 34 straight playoff games over the past three years.
But Quick still isn't the problem for the Kings, who have won a series after trailing 0-2 just twice in franchise history. Williams realizes the Kings aren't sustaining any offensive pressure on the Blackhawks, whose forechecking has kept the Kings pinned in their end for long stretches.
''It's nice taking both at home, especially given how well they've been playing at home back in L.A.,'' Chicago's Patrick Kane said. ''We've still got our work cut out for us against this team. They're going to be good in their own building, but it's nice to get a day off, then get back at it.''
Los Angeles' scoring struggles are getting ugly, with just 29 goals in 15 playoff games - easily the lowest scoring average for any team that won a playoff round. It's not nearly enough to hang with the Blackhawks, whose talented lineup generates goals from all four lines and its defense.
The Kings have never been an offensive dynamo, but they didn't struggle like this in the regular season. Their top scorers in last season's playoffs also are struggling mightily this year: Star center Anze Kopitar has just two goals in 15 games after enduring a lengthy goal-scoring slump to end the regular season, while captain Dustin Brown has a mere four points in the playoffs.
''It's pretty fair to say as a line, we're collectively in a slump,'' Brown said of his partnership with Kopitar and Williams. ''We know what we need to do better.''
Center Mike Richards missed Game 2 with symptoms from an apparent head injury, and the Kings don't know if he'll play in Game 3. Richards, who hadn't missed a game all season, is Los Angeles' leading postseason scorer with 10 points.
At least Tyler Toffoli is an intriguing addition to the lineup in Richards' absence. The big rookie picked up a goal in Game 2 while playing alongside top goal-scorer Jeff Carter, who moved over to center without Richards alongside him.
''Going back to six games left in the regular season, we've had trouble scoring,'' Sutter said. ''It's not a home-road disparity at all. We're trying to surprise the team that finished first overall. ... We're not a team that gets ahead of ourselves or down on ourselves or up on ourselves. Doesn't matter if we're down two (games) or up two. The other team knows what they're going to get.''
The Kings' championship poise might be their greatest asset in the next two games. With the confidence of last season's 16-4 run through the playoffs still fresh in most players' minds, Sutter's club doesn't really get rattled - even after winning just twice in its last seven playoff games.
''You can draw on the fact we've been in this situation before,'' Brown said. ''The series is long from over in our mindset.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Fresh off a new two-year contract extension that was signed on Thursday, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr decided to help out his team by scoring on his own goalie. Robyn is affectionately known as “Ray” in LA and this was clearly a bonehead play.
It may not be as bad as the own goal that occurred during the Germany-USA International Friendly, but this was still pretty...
The Kings suffered a major blow Tuesday when Coach Darryl Sutter ruled out their leading playoff scorer, Mike Richards, for tonight's Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Sutter is rarely open about injuries but disclosed the decision after the morning skate at Staples Center. Richards is suspected to have suffered a concussion after taking a hard hit in the last two minutes...
The Los Angeles media has been brutal the past two years with their coverage of the Los Angeles Kings. The Los Angeles media and even the media in general, often put up the wrong logo, or say the wrong name for players, or even confuse them with another team. The Kings have apparently had enough and put out this hilarious (and informative) infographic for all of the media to...
This is real and it's spectacular twitter.com/LAKings/status…
— LA Kings (@LAKings) June 2, 2013
Even though the Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champs, they still can't get no respect from any editor, publisher, online outlet, TV anchor, or news organization. This poll from Yahoo is just the latest example of someone botching the Kings...
Playing just over 24 hours after the final horn sounded yesterday, the Blackhawks will try to keep home-ice advantage with another win.
The Kings certainly don't want to go home down 0-2, so expect them to create more offensive opportunities while cutting down the chances they allowed Chicago yesterday.
Puck drops a little after 8:00pm ET and can be viewed on NBCSN, TSN or RDS.
Thereâs a reason Chicago won 24 straight games. Theyâre pretty good.
Not only has Chicago given the Kings a taste of their own medicine, and as many of you know, most medicines tastes like sugar honey iced tea, theyâre doing it without even breaking a sweat.
Kings fans got a scare early when Robyn Regehr was scratched from the starting lineup because he took...
Slava Voynov had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Quick made 19 saves, and the Los Angeles Kings beat Chicago 3-1 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night, trimming the Blackhawks' series lead to 2-1.
Justin Williams also scored and Dwight King added an empty-net goal in the defending Stanley Cup champions' 15th consecutive home victory since March. The...
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said he accidentally high-sticked Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter thought Keith got off easily with a double minor after opening a gash on Carter's face during the Blackhawks' 3-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions in Game 3 on Tuesday...
The Kings home winning streak reaches 15 straight with a valiant effort.
The fact that Chicago held the Kings, who pulled out all the stops, to just 2 goals scares the crap out of me going forward, but I'll take the win.
Sutter pulled a last minute fast one replacing Anze Kopitar on the top line with Jarret Stoll... wait... I'm boring myself writing this... okay......
Slava Voynov broke his stick in two with a vicious swing at the puck during the second period. The Los Angeles Kings defenseman's slower shot stayed on course anyway, sliding past Corey Crawford into Chicago's net.
The defending Stanley Cup champions have been getting all kinds of breaks during an unbeaten home run through the postseason. They'll need a few more like...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus scored on consecutive shots in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks chased goalie Jonathan Quick on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook also scored as the rolling Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven...
The defending champion Los Angeles Kings looked to rally from a second 2-0 series deficit of the playoffs as they returned home on Tuesday night for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Kings had not lost at home all postseason and the Chicago Blackhawks could not buck that trend on Tuesday as Los [...]
Expect anything different? Hollywood drama story that should have a script to it. Another 2-1 game for 59 minutes for the Los Angeles Kings (9-5-2), this time, they were on the winning end as they were able to get another goal on an empty net and cap a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks (10-4-1), and once again, Jonathan Quick proved why he is possibly the most clutch postseason...
Follow me @jaeckel
The 2013 Western Conference Final is far from over. That said, the Blackhawks leave for SoCal not just with a 2-0 series lead, but really all the answers. Thus far.
The truth is, Jonathan Quick, although vanquished to the bench midway through the game last night and replaced by Jonathan Bernier, is still a great goaltender. And Quick is quite capable of...
The Los Angeles Kings just defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, allowing Los Angeles to climb back into the series and stifle the Blackhawks' momentum by playing a hard-nosed, physical game.