What you need to know: Los Angeles Kings
May, 17, 2014
By Scott Powers
The Chicago Blackhawks will play the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals. Here’s what you need to know about the Kings:
The Blackhawks eliminated the Kings in five games in the Western Conference finals last season. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane scored a hat trick, including the double-overtime game winner, in the final game of the series. He had four goals in the series, and Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell had three goals and four assists in the series. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 127 saves on 137 shots for a .927 save percentage in the series.
The Kings have been without defensemen Robyn Regehr and Willie Mitchell the past few weeks. Mitchell hasn’t played the last eight games, and Regehr missed the last six games. Mitchell has started skating again, but Regehr has not.
The Kings were the league’s best defensive team in the regular season. They had league-best 2.05 goals-against average. They also allowed only 108 even-strength goals, which was the lowest in the league.
Offense has often been harder for the Kings to come by. They averaged 2.42 goals a game, which ranked 26th in the league, during the regular season. They were held to two goals or less in 41 regular-season games. They have found some more offense in the playoffs, averaging 3.21 goals a game, and have scored three or more goals in 10 of 14 games.
The Blackhawks won all three of their regular-season meetings this season.
The Kings are 6-0 when facing elimination in the playoffs this season. They rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks and from a 3-2 deficit to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.
AP Photo/Reed SaxonPatrick Kane and the Blackhawks won all three matchups against the Kings in the regular season.
The Kings are 3-3 at home and 5-3 on the road in the playoffs this season. The Blackhawks are 6-0 at home and 2-4 on the road.
Despite their lack of offense, the Kings were one of the league’s top possession teams. They led the NHL with a 57.3 Corsi percentage, which is shot differential with the game tied or within a goal. The Kings had 2,480 shots for and 1,850 shots against in those situations, according to extraskater.com. The Blackhawks ranked second in that category with a 55.7 percentage.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty leads the team in ice time. He averaged 25:42 in the regular season and is averaging 27:24 in the playoffs.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick had one of the league’s best goals-against averages at 2.07, but his save percentage of .915 put him tied for 22nd in the league. He did have a .929 even-strength save percentage. He has a 2.72 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 14 playoff games this season. He struggled against the Blackhawks in the playoffs last season. He stopped 122-of-136 shots for a .897 save percentage. He was pulled in the second period of Game 2 in the series after allowing four goals.
Forward Anze Kopitar led the Kings with 70 points in the regular season. He had 29 goals, 41 assists and was a plus-34. He leads the NHL with 19 playoff points, which includes five goals and 14 assists.
Forward Marian Gaborik leads the Kings with nine playoff goals. He has 15 points in the playoffs. The Kings acquired him from the Columbus Blues Jackets on March 5.
The Kings were 11th in the league with an 83.1 penalty-kill percentage in the regular season. They have killed off 49-of-56 penalties for a 83.9 percentage in the playoffs.
The Kings were 27th in the league with a 15.1 power-play percentage in the regular season. They have scored 11 goals on 48 power plays for a 22.9 percentage in the playoffs.
The Kings placed three players in the league’s top-25 faceoff leaders in the regular season. Jarrett Stoll won 678-of-1239 faceoffs for a 54.7 winning percentage, Mike Richards followed at 53.9 percent (489-of-907) and next was Kopitar at 53.3 (773-of-1451).
The Kings’ Corsi regular-season leaders were Jake Muzzin (61.1 percent), Kopitar (61.0), Justin Williams (60.6), Tyler Toffoli (60.4), Gaborik (60.0), Doughty (58.5) and Dwight King (58.5). In the playoffs, they’re led by Muzzin (56.7), Doughty (56.7), Matt Greene (56.1), Toffoli (56.0), Williams (55.7) and Stoll (55.7).
The Kings’ Jeff Carter and Doughty were teammates with Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith on Canada in the Olympics. Quick and Dustin Brown were teammates with Patrick Kane on Team USA.
The Kings’ lines against the Ducks in Game 7 were Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown, Tanner Pearson-Carter-Toffoli, Trevor Lewis-Stoll-Williams and King-Richards-Kyle Clifford. The defensive pairings were Muzzin-Doughty, Jeff Schultz-Slava Voynov and Alex Martinez-Greene.
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