NHL Western Conference Finals Game Six: Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings

2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #6

Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings
Kings Lead Best of Seven Series 3-2
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Friday, May 30, 2014, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Opening Line: Los Angeles -135 / Chicago +115
Current Line: Los Angeles -140 / Chicago +120
Opening Total: over 5 -110 / under 5 -110
Current Total:over 5 -120 / under 5 +100

The Kings can close out the Chicago Blackhawks in game six of the Western Conference Conference Finals Friday.
The Kings can close out the Chicago Blackhawks in game six of the Western Conference Conference Finals Friday.

The Chicago Blackhawks were down 3-1 in the Western Conferenence Finals against the Los Angeles Kings. Chicago stayed alive with a thrilling 5-4 double overtime win at home Wednesday night. The Kings look to wrap up the series with a win in Friday’s game six in Los Angeles. A Blackhawks win would force game 7 back in Chicago Sunday. The winner of this series will face the New York Rangers who finished the off the Montreal Canadiens last night in the Eastern Conference Finals. Chicago won the Stanley Cup last year, and Los Angeles won it in 2012.

After losing game one 3-1 at Chicago, Los Angeles  won three straight games to take a commanding series lead. The Kings won game two in Chicago 6-2, before winning both games in LA 4-3 in game three and 5-2 in game four.

Wednesday night in game five, Chicago scored two goals in the first four minutes of the game. Brent Seabrook scored on a power play goal assisted by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane just over a minute into the game. About two and a half minutes later Johnny Oduya made it 2-0 Chicago assisted by Kane and Andrew Shaw. LA got on the board midway through the first on  a goal from Jarret Stoll assisted by Dwight King. Brandon Saad scored for the Blackhawks about a minute later assisted by Shaw and Kane. Marian Gaborik scored two minutes later for the Kings assisted by Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Brown scored the tying goal for LA 11 minutes into the second assisted by Gaborik. Tanner Pearson put the Kings ahead 4-3 two minutes later assisted by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. Chicago tied it up a minute into the third period on a goal from Ben Smith assisted by Saad and Oduya. Neither team would score again in regulation or the first overtime period. Michal Handzus scored the game winner two minutes into the second overtime assisted by Saad and Kane.

Both goalies played the entire game. Chicago’s Corey Crawford made 40 saves in 44 shots faced. LA’s Jonathan Quick made 40 saves and faced 45 shots. The Blackhawks were 1 for 4 on the power play and the Kings were 0 for 3. LA won 40 face-offs to 34 for Chicago.

Los Angeles is coached by Darryl Sutter. The Kings are 57-36-2-6 this season and the total was 22-41-19 during the regular season. Chicago is coached by Joel Quenneville. The Blackhawks are 56-28-7-8 this season and the total was 39-42-1 during the regular season.

Chicago is outscoring teams 2.94-2.76 in the playoffs. The Blackhawks are averaging 27.4 shots per game and opponents are averaging 31.3 shots per game in the playoffs. The Blackhawks are 9 for 50 on the power play (18%). Chicago is 85.2% on the penalty kill and has allowed 9 power play goals. Chicago has won 49.4% of face-offs.

Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford has a 2.38 goals against average with a .917 save percentage. Crawford has allowed 44 goals in 529 shots faced, and has one shutout. Crawford is 10-7 in the playoffs.

Center Jonathan Toews has 15 points with eight goals and seven assists. Right wing Patrick Kane has 15 points with 6 goals and 9 assists. Right wing Marian Hossa has 14 points with 12 assists. Left Wing Brandon Saad has 13 points with 8 assists.  Defenseman Brent Seabrook has 12 points with 9 assists. Defenseman Duncan Keith (3G, 7A), LW Brian Bickell (7G, 3A), D Johnny Oduya (2G, 5A) and LW Patrick Sharp (3G, 4A) also contribute to the scoring. Third string goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Los Angeles is outscoring teams 3.42-2.74 in the playoffs. The Kings are averaging 30.7 shots per game and opponents average 30 per game. The Kings are  16 for 63 on the power play (25.4%) in the playoffs. LA is 83.6% on the penalty kill and has allowed 12 power play goals. The Kings have won 53.4% of face-offs in the postseason.

Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick has a goals against average of 2.75 in the playoffs with a save percentage of .909. He has allowed 51 goals in 562 shots faced with one shutout. Quick is 11-8 in the playoffs so far.

LA Center Anze Kopitar leads all scorers in the playoffs with 23 points including 18 assists. Center Jeff Carter has 8 goals and 13 assists for 21 points.  Right wing Marian Gaborik has 18 points and leads the playoffs in goals with 11.  Right wing Justin Williams (6 goals, 9 assists) has 15 points. Defenseman Drew Doughty has 14 points with 11 assists. Left Wing Tanner Pearson has 12 points with 8 assists.  Center Tyler Toffoli has 11 points with 6 goals. Defenseman Jake Muzzin has 11 points with 5 goals. Defenseman Robyn Regehr is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Chicago is 8-2 on one day rest, 7-2 after a win, 10-4 in conference finals games, 42-19 after scoring 5 goals or in the previous game. 39-19 after the opponent allows 5 goals or more in the previous game, 7-20 in road games and against teams with winning home records. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total, and the over is 3-0-1 in the last 4 games in LA between the teams. The Blackhawks have beaten the Kings  21 of the last 30 times they have played each other.

Los Angeles is 8-1 in Friday games, 39-13 against teams with losing road records, 5-2 against teams with winning records, overall, and against Western Conference teams. 54-25 at home, and 1-5 after the opponent scores 5 or more goals in the previous game. The home team is 4-1 in this series recently.

Game five was one of best hockey games in the playoffs. I expect another tight game in game six between two teams who have won the last two Stanley Cups. I think the Kings win to close out the series.

Our hockey handicappers are red hot in the playoffs. Don’t miss out on anymore winners.

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