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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Kings (Game 2)

By Scott Powers



CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings face off in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday. The Blackhawks lead the series 1-0. Here's what to watch for:

• Home ice has been good to the Blackhawks. They're 7-0 in the playoffs at the United Center this season and 18-2 over the past two seasons.

• Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will not play and will miss his seventh consecutive game due to a lower-body injury. He's expected back for Game 3.

• The Kings weren't displeased with their entire effort in Game 1, but a few additional days of rest likely will do them well. They played Game 7 of their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, flew to Chicago on Saturday and played Game 1 on Sunday. There will also be two days between Game 2 and 3.

• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has been playing at another level again in the playoffs. He stopped 25-of-26 shots in Game 1. He had 260 saves on 272 shots for a .956 save percentage in the Blackhawks' nine playoff wins this season.

• The Kings' Game 1 loss didn't fall on their goaltender Jonathan Quick, but he has played better in the playoffs. He allowed three goals on 20 shots in Game 1. He's allowed 28 total goals in the Kings' seven playoff losses and 11 total goals in their eight wins.

• Each team's top line likely will square off against each other again. The Kings will go with Marian Gaborik-Anze Kopitar-Dustin Brown and the Blackhawks will counter with Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa. Kopitar was held without a point for just the second time in 15 playoff games in Game 1. Hossa helped set up a Toews' goal in the third period on Sunday.

• Special teams was a factor in Game 1. The Blackhawks scored a power-play goal, and the Kings were shut out on two power-play chances. The Blackhawks lead the league with a 91.7 penalty-kill percentage in the playoffs.

• The only tweak Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made in his lineup during Game 1 was switching Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad on lines. It appears Quenneville will go with that again in Game 2. Saad will be on the second line, and Sharp will be on the third line.