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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Penguins vs Bruins

POSTED ON Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 8:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Richards returns to Kings lineup in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Center Mike Richards is back in the Los Angeles Kings' lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night after missing three games with a concussion.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final with a win.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Sutter calls Richards '50/50' to play in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said "it's possible" center Mike Richards will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). Richards has missed the past three games with a concussion.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

"I'd say it's 50/50," Sutter said of Richards' chances of playing.

Richards took rushes on the fourth line between Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford during the morning skate Saturday. He declined a request to be interviewed in the dressing room afterward.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Keith happy to be back in Blackhawks lineup

CHICAGO -- After watching teammates scramble to fill in during a one-game suspension, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is excited to get back in the lineup.

The Blackhawks will try to close out the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). With his team leading the best-of-7 series, 3-1, Keith said he's eager to rejoin the fray.

"I'm looking forward to the game and know it's going to be the biggest game of the series. I want to play a good hockey game," said Keith, who was suspended for one game after hitting Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face with his stick in Game 3. "It's tough to watch. When you're playing every game and then all of a sudden you're watching on TV, it's just a different feeling altogether. I couldn't really tell you, to be honest, if we were playing good or bad in the first period [of Game 4] or not … or what was going on."

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POSTED ON Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 1:03 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Richards skates with Kings' fourth line

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards was taking rushes with the fourth line Saturday morning at United Center, an indication that he may be in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a concussion in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 5 is Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

On Friday, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Richards was "doubtful at best" for Game 5, but he was centering the fourth line between Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford during the morning skate. Nolan has gone pointless in the postseason and has not played since Game 6 of the Kings' second-round series against the San Jose Sharks.

Richards was injured when he was hit behind the goal line late in Game 1 by Chicago center Dave Bolland. He skated in between Games 3 and 4, but was not on the ice for the morning skate prior to Game 4 at Staples Center on Thursday. The Kings did not practice Friday.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.07.2013 / 9:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings center Richards 'doubtful at best' for Game 5

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (concussion) made the trip here for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), but it's likely he'll miss his fourth straight game.

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It is doubtful at best."

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.07.2013 / 8:55 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings need some goals from power play

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have been brilliant when the opponent has more players on the ice.

That statement is beyond repute at this point in 2012-13. The Blackhawks were third in the NHL in penalty-killing proficiency during the regular season, and they've turned up their PK a few more notches in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Through 16 games, the Blackhawks have erased 54 of 56 power plays (96.4 percent). Chicago's PK prowess is a big reason the Blackhawks can return to the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Los Angeles Kings at United Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

The Kings have managed one power-play goal in four games -- and that one was a meaningless score after the outcome of Game 2 had long since been decided.

"I think they do an excellent job of blocking shots. I mean, that's plain and simple," Kings forward Justin Williams said Friday. "They get their bodies in shot lanes and you can sometimes fake that you're in the shot lanes when you're actually not, but they're in them every time. They're manning-up and getting behind them.

"We're getting a lot of zone time on the PP. I think we've only had one goal to come of it. We haven't scored a big power-play goal yet. Getting through the first layer is important because we've had a lot of possession time, a lot of zone time, but just getting it through their blockers is key."

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.07.2013 / 7:14 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks seek answers for power-play struggles

CHICAGO -- It was a problem area for much of the regular season and hasn't really improved from a statistical standpoint for the Chicago Blackhawks during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Chicago's power play continues to struggle -- to put it mildly. After going 0-for-4 in a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday at Staples Center, the Blackhawks are 1-for-12 in this best-of-7 series (8.3 percent).

They are 7-for-49 (14.3 percent) in the postseason, and 1-for-22 (4.6 percent) in power plays on the road in the playoffs.

"You look at maybe [Game 4] and we trailed for at least half the game there until we tied it up in the second [at even strength]," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Friday. "We feel if you take advantage of a few of your power play chances there, maybe you could take the lead and take a little more control of the game and distance yourself a little bit from the other team."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 9:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings center Richards out for Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is not playing in in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks (NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Richards did not take part in the team's morning skate at Staples Center on Thursday, and coach Darryl Sutter said he would not play.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 8:47 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Hjalmarsson moves up to top defense pair for Chicago

LOS ANGELES -- Niklas Hjalmarsson will move into Duncan Keith's spot on the top defense pairing for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Staples Center (NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Keith, the 2010 Norris Trophy winner, is suspended for the game because of a high-sticking infraction on Kings center Jeff Carter in the second period of Game 3. Based on the pregame warmup line rushes, Hjalmarsson will skate with Brent Seabrook on the top pairing.

Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival, who were the team's third pairing at the start of the postseason, will be the second duo. Oduya moved to the second pair for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals when Chicago coach Joel Quenneville reunited Keith and Seabrook on the top pair against the Detroit Red Wings.

Nick Leddy, who dropped from the second pair to the third for Game 5 against the Red Wings and has seen his ice time reduced in the second half of this postseason run, will skate with Sheldon Brookbank, who is making his 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in place of Keith.

Based on warmups, the Kings' lineup will remain the same from Game 3. Center Mike Richards remains out with a concussion.

Here is Chicago's projected lineup for Game 4:

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 5:59 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks ready for Game 4 without Keith

BEVERLEY HILLS, Calif. -- When the Chicago Blackhawks dropped three of the first four games in the Western Conference Semifinals, it was the first dose of adversity for a team that stormed through a shortened regular season as the NHL's top team.

Now the Blackhawks will face another test in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Chicago will be without top defenseman Duncan Keith, who was suspended for one game for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in Game 3.

"Big loss for us," Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival said Thursday. "But it is what it is. We all have to go out and step up our game and be a little better. We'll see what the defensive pairing will be for tonight. That's a big loss, but you have to deal with it. That's the way it is."

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I was in there icing my face as she was trying to push a baby out.

— Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf on going to the hospital with a facial laceration while his wife was in labor following Game 1 on Wednesday