Wednesday, May 28, 2014
W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Kings (Game 5)
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings face off Wednesday in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at United Center, with the Kings leading the series 3-1. Here's what to watch for:
The Kings have won the past three games and outscored the Blackhawks 15-7 during that span. Only 24 teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit since the NHL expanded all rounds to a best-of-seven format in the 1986-87 season. The Kings did it against the San Jose Sharks in the first round this postseason, and the Blackhawks accomplished it against the Detroit Red Wings in the second round last season.
The Blackhawks are 7-1 at home this postseason. Their only loss at United Center was to the Kings in Game 2.
Special teams have been the difference in the past three games. The Kings scored five power-play goals (plus one where they scored 2 seconds after a Blackhawks' penalty expired) in their three wins. The Blackhawks have scored once on the power play in that same time frame and were 0-for-7 on the power play in the past two games.
The Kings are getting contributions throughout the lineup. Forward Jeff Carter has a series-high nine points (four goals, five assists). Anze Kopitar has three points in the series and a league-best 22 points in these playoffs overall. Marian Gaborik scored his first goal of the series in Game 4 and has 10 goals for the playoffs. Tyler Toffoli has three goals in the series. Defenseman Drew Doughty has five points.