It worked, as Chicago was victorious, winning by a score of 5-2. Ever since that game, Chicago has been looking like a hockey club that could be making a title run of their own this season.
The Kings, meanwhile, have looked nothing like the reigning champions, posting a mediocre record of 5-5-2. They are currently riding a two-game winning streak, but what can they do to make it three against arguably the best team in hockey?
Take advantage of injury
Surprisingly, goaltending has not been a question for the Blackhawks this year, as Corey Crawford has been stellar, posting a ridiculous GAA of 1.65 to go along with his .935 save percentage. Fortunately for the Kings, Crawford will miss this game due to an upper-body injury. The Kings need to take advantage of this by peppering Ray Emery with shots early and often.
Be aware of Patrick Kane
After a so-so 2012 campaign, Kane has come out of the gates firing on all cylinders in 2013. He has nine goals and 12 assists, tying him for 2nd in the league in points. He is currently riding an eight-game point streak, so the Kings absolutely must make sure they are aware of his location out on the ice. Of course that goes for all of Chicago’s weapons, but especially Kane, who is red hot.
Find a way to score goals
It’s simple. You don’t score, you don’t win, especially against Chicago. The Blackhawks’ offense currently ranks 2nd in hockey, averaging 3.36 goals per contest. Los Angeles’ offense, meanwhile, has been the Achilles heal to this club, averaging just 2.25 goals per game, ranking them 27th. With skilled guys such as Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown, there is absolutely no reason for this team to be struggling so much offensively. If they struggle today, they’ll be in for a long afternoon.
The puck drops at 3:30 p.m., as part of Hockey Day in America.