Game Preview : Homecoming Kings

USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks 51 pts (24-3-3) vs Los Angeles Kings (36 pts 17-12-2) 7 PM United Center - Chicago, IL. TV: CSN Chicago (NBCSN) Radio : WGN 720 AM

Season Series

Date Score W. Goal
Mar 25 '13
Feb 17 '13 LAK 2 at CHI 3 P. Sharp
Jan 19 '13 CHI 5 at LAK 2 M. Frolik

It's been over two weeks since we last had a reason to make a trip to the United Center. Tonight the Hawks make their return home after a successful 3-1 road trip. It seems like forever since the Blackhawks blew a late 2-1 lead to the Ducks so hopefully those memories are long gone. The boys in red have had the last four days off so they should be very fresh. Marian Hossa did not skate this morning and will miss his second straight game due to a shoulder injury. Coach Q said Hoss is doubtful for tomorrow night against the Flames but hinted he could be back on Friday for the rematch with Anaheim. Andrew Shaw has the flu and missed this morning's skate as well, but will be good to go tonight. That is a relief considering the 4th line in practice was Brandon Bollig, Jamal Mayers and Daniel Carcillo. Typing that combination alone just gave me instant diarrhea. Mayers will get the call over Carcillo on the 4th line tonight. I have been a fan of Stan Bowman, for the most part, but giving a two year, 1.6 million dollar contract to a guy that can't even beat out Mayers for the lineup was a major mistake. Michael Frolik will get a shot with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews on the top line tonight. I like the move. Frolik has busted his ass all season long and deserves the shot. Bottom line is look for Patrick Kane to play NBA type minutes again tonight. Maybe he can try and score a goal on all four lines. Why Jeremy Morin or Ben Smith has not been called up by now completely baffles me. Corey Crawford will get his second crack of the year at the defending champs. Crow has been solid versus in LA in career with a 5-2-0 record a 2.34 GAA and .914 save % in his career.

When you look up "streaky team" in the dictionary its says "see the 2013 Los Angeles Kings." The Kings have been consistently inconsistent all season long. They are currently on a downward dip in their roller coaster season having been shut out in the last two games. This comes on the heals of scoring 12 goals during a 3 game winning streak. Which Kings team will we see tonight? Hopefully its the team that can't score a goal to save its life. The reigning Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick, left the ice first in morning practice, so he will get the call in net. The Hawks are one of the few teams he has struggled against in his career, but mostly due to a lack of goal support. In 17 career games versus Chicago Quick is 5-11-1 with a 2.55 GAA, .915 save % and two shutouts. He has given up 8 goals on 59 shots this year to the Hawks.

Probable Chicago Blackhawks lineup

Forwards

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Michael Frolik

Jimmy Hayes - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Viktor Stalberg - Andrew Shaw - Bryan Bickell

Jamal Mayers - Marcus Kruger - Brandon Bollig

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Sheldon Brookbank

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 13-3-3, 1.86 GAA, .926 save %, 2 SO

Injuries

Patrick Sharp (shoulder) OUT, Marian Hossa (upper body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Kane 30 16 22 38 11 2 7 2
J. Toews 30 15 15 30 17 19 2 3
M. Hossa 28 13 10 23 11 14 3 4
P. Sharp 24 5 13 18 7 14 1 1
V. Stalberg 30 6 11 17 13 12 0 1

Probable Los Angeles Kings lineup

Fowards

Justin Williams - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter

Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis

Jordan Nolan - Colin Fraser - Kyle Clifford

Defensive Pairings

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov

Alec Martinez - Keaton Ellerby

Goaltender

Jonathan Quick 10-10-2, 2.47 GAA, .897 save %, 1 SO

Injuries

Willie Mitchell (knee) day to day, Matt Greene (back) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
A. Kopitar 30 9 19 28 9 12 0 1
J. Carter 31 18 3 21 2 10 5 6
J. Williams 31 4 17 21 11 16 1 0
M. Richards 31 7 13 20 -6 34 5 1
S. Voynov 31 4 15 19 8 12 0 2

LAK
Stats
CHI
31 GP 30
17 W 24
12 L 3
2 OT 3
36 P 51
0.581 P% 0.85
2.81 G/G 3.27
2.42 GA/G 2.1
19.3 PP% 19.2
81.7 PK% 83.3
28.9 S/G 31.3
24.5 SA/G 26.5
51.6 FO% 50



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