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Blackhawks vs Kings

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Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Five reasons why the Kings advanced

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Kings completed one of the most remarkable runs to the Stanley Cup Final with their Game 7 overtime victory Sunday.

Los Angeles dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in an epic seven-game Western Conference Final. It was the third consecutive seven-game survival for the Kings, and they became the first team to win three Game 7s on the road in one postseason as well as the first to play 21 games in the first three rounds and still advance to the Cup Final.

What made it even more remarkable was the quality of competition in Los Angeles' path. While the Kings defeated the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds in the Western Conference en route to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and did so by racing out to a 3-0 lead in each series, the journey to the 2014 Final was unquestionably harder.

The San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Blackhawks finished the regular season with a combined 334 points. For perspective, the top three seeds in the West in 2012 combined for 317 points.

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Five reasons why the Blackhawks were eliminated

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The sting was etched upon the faces of the Chicago Blackhawks and hung on every word they spoke following a classic Western Conference Final that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss in Game 7 on Sunday at United Center.

After battling back from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-7 series, the defending Stanley Cup champions finished their season one goal short of returning to the Stanley Cup Final.

"We were pretty close to getting to the big dance," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look at how close we were, how competitive it was, and it's a tough League. It's a tough thing to do, to win the Cup. And I couldn't be prouder of our guys. The way we competed in some tough situations down 3-1 and [being] one shot away from going and trying to do it again."

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Martinez shows just how deep these Kings are

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- This run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings has been defined by words like resiliency and character, but also depth and talent.

The Kings advanced past the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks with a Game 7, 5-4 overtime win Sunday night at United Center, and the depth was on display in the extra session.

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Blackhawks give up too many leads, lose series

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- When they look back at the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a critical eye, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to have an extra sting added to the end of their season.

Aside from finishing one shot away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final a second straight year, losing 5-4 in overtime of Game 7 to the Los Angeles Kings at United Center on Sunday night, the Blackhawks' inability to hold leads caught up to them.

The defending Stanley Cup champions couldn't shake a playoffs-long trend of coughing up leads in Game 7 against the Kings, frittering away leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the first period and 4-3 in the third. For the series, The Blackhawks saw nine leads melt away thanks to the persistence of the Kings and some defensive lapses and, at times, Corey Crawford's goaltending.

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Kings show mettle in Game 7 win vs. Blackhawks

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- The San Jose Sharks thought they had the Los Angeles Kings down and out. The Anaheim Ducks thought the same thing. On Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks became the latest team to make the mistake of pronouncing the Kings dead.

In a memorable Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, the Blackhawks took a two-goal lead in the first nine minutes. To most everyone, it looked like the Kings had finally run out of gas after rallying from a 3-0 series deficit against the favored Sharks and from a 3-2 hole against the top-seeded Ducks.

But this Kings team is like no other the NHL has seen.

"We never thought we weren't going to do it," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Two of their goals were pretty lucky, one from behind the goalie and the chip shot or whatever that was.

"We weren't going to let those kind of goals defeat us. We knew that we were going to get them back, get some dirty goals from crashing the net. That's basically how we won the game; we never gave up."


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Blackhawks, Kings wrap up epic series with Game 7

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- One team is going to make history Sunday night at United Center, and one is going to spend the offseason wondering what might have been.

This Western Conference Final has been an epic showdown befitting the hype that preceded it, and Game 7 is one of the most anticipated NHL games that isn't part of a Stanley Cup Final in years.

There are so many positive numbers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings that's it is hard to sort through them all. These are the two most successful franchises of the past three NHL seasons, and both are set up for future achievements at this level as well.

"Being a part of it we know it's been a special series, a lot of ups and downs, fast, high-paced games," Chicago forward Ben Smith said. "You want to be on the winning side of it. The loser of this series probably won't be remembered… you want to be the guys who come out on top of what's been one of the best series in a while."

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Kings can't avoid Kane, even on off day

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 9:57 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Kings are getting tired of talking about Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and the new line combination that's given them problems in Games 5 and 6 of the Western Conference Final.

In fact, the Kings on Saturday were tired of talking about the Blackhawks in general. They've lost two straight games to the defending Stanley Cup champions to let a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series slip away, forcing Game 7 on Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

It will be the third straight series the Kings have played a Game 7, making them the third team in NHL history to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs that way, the first to do it with every deciding game on the road.


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Seven questions for Blackhawks-Kings Game 7

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 8:36 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Shawn P. Roarke and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

CHICAGO -- Game 7 is the only fitting ending to this unforgettable Western Conference Final between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 3-3 with the deciding game Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Everything is on the line for these teams, who have been equals of each other in almost every available metric. Like great heavyweight boxers, they have spent the first six rounds probing the opponent's weaknesses and defending their shortcomings as best as possible.

Some knockout punches have been landed, for sure. Los Angeles scored six straight goals in Game 2 to even the series, playing 22 minutes of superior hockey out of 60 that night. The Kings followed with two wins to take a stranglehold on the series, but the Blackhawks have found ways to get up and inflict damage of their own.

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Blackhawks, Kings each have good Game 7 history

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 6:37 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks each have some history on their side as they prepare for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, to be played Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Not only will the Blackhawks have more than 21,000 fans rooting them on, they'll have the precedent of 91 wins by home teams in 155 Game 7s since the best-of-7 format was adopted in 1939. That includes Chicago's 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals, the Blackhawks' most-recent Game 7.

The Blackhawks are 6-5 in Game 7s, 5-2 at home. They've won their past four Game 7s in their building since losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the 1971 Stanley Cup Final at Chicago Stadium.

Los Angeles has won two Game 7s in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, each on the road and each in convincing fashion. The Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 to complete a comeback from a 3-0 series deficit in the Western Conference First Round, then knocked off the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 in the second round to advance to the conference final.

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Hawks, Kings vie for Western supremacy in Game 7

Winner will face Eastern Champion New York Rangers in 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 2:47 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- A berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final is on the line Sunday night when the Chicago Blackhawks play host to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final at United Center (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Sunday's showdown will mark the seventh Game 7 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, tying the single-year playoff record set in 1994 and matched in 2011.

The Blackhawks-Kings winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final and hold home-ice advantage against the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers in the best-of-seven series for hockey's ultimate prize that begins Wednesday, June 4.

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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday