Game Preview : Razor's Edge

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Blackhawks (25 pts 11-0-3) vs Los Angeles Kings (12 pts 5-5-2), 2:30 PM United Center - Chicago, IL, TV: NBC Radio: WGN 720 AM

It's Hockey Day in America and a very busy day in Chicago. The Hockey City Classic is going on at Soldier Field with four top college teams and the Blackhawks hosting the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Joel Quenneville announced yesterday the Corey Crawford will miss his second straight game due to an upper body injury. Ray Emery will his shot at the Kings today on national television. The Hawks can tie the 84-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second best start to season in history if they avoid a regulation loss today. Marcus Kruger has been on a tear lately with 5 points in his last 5 games. His offensive contributions add to his stellar work on the penalty kill and good numbers at the face off dot. One of these days Patrick Sharp is going to get his scoring touch back and Brent Seabrook is going be good at hockey again. Hopefully that starts today.

The Kings are suffering through the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover. They are off to a slow start but are looking to win their third game in a row, which would be a season best. I am not shocked that the Kings are not an elite team so far this year. They struggled for most of the season last year and didn't get their act together until to end of year and in the playoffs. Los Angeles is only averaging only 2.25 goals a game which ranks them 27th in the NHL. On the flip side they are giving up 2.67 goals a game which puts them in the middle of the pack. Jonathan Quick should get the start today as he took the night off Friday versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. The trio of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Dustin Brown have been hot lately, combing for 20 points in the last eight games.

Probable Chicago Blackhawks lineup:

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Michael Frolik - Marcus Kruger - Jamal Mayers

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Niklas Hjalmarsson - Johnny Oduya

Michal Rozsival - Nick Leddy

Goaltender

Ray Emery 4-0-0, 2.21 GAA, .930 save %, 0 SO

Injuries

Corey Crawford (upper body) OUT, Daniel Carcillo (knee) OUT

Leading Scorers

P. Kane 21 pts (9 G, 12 A)

J. Toews 13 pts (6 G, 7 A)

M. Hossa 12 pts (6 G, 6 A)

P. Sharp 12 pts (2 G, 10 A)

D. Bolland 7 pts (5 G, 2 A)

Probable Los Angeles Kings lineup:

Forwards

Simon Gagne - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Jeff Carter - Justin Williams

Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jordan Nolan

Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Defensive Pairings

Keaton Ellerby - Drew Doughty

Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov

Jake Muzzin - Davis Drewiske

Goaltender

Jonathan Quick 3-4-2, 2.70 GAA, .891 save %, 0 SO

Injuries

Alec Martinez (upper body) OUT, Willie Mitchell (knee) OUT, Matt Greene (back) OUT

Leading Scorers

A. Kopitar 8 pts (4 G, 4 A)

J. Carter 7 pts (6 G 1 A)

K. Clifford 7 pts (2 G, 5 A)

M. Richards 7 pts (2 G, 5 A)

D. Brown 6 pts (3 G, 3 A)

Stats
12 GP 14
5 W 11
5 L 0
2 OT 3
12 P 25
0.500 P% 0.893
2.25 G/G 3.36
2.67 GA/G 1.86
12.5 PP% 18.3
81.1 PK% 92.2
29.4 S/G 29.2
23.9 SA/G 27.9
48.8 FO% 50.2
courtesy of NHL.com
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