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Blackhawks vs Kings

(Page 4 of 5)
Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Defenseman Muzzin making difference for Kings

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 6:26 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- At the beginning of this season, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was trying to find his way into the lineup. He was scratched for five games in October and it appeared it would be a well-worn door to coach Darryl Sutter's doghouse.

It would have been difficult to imagine then that Muzzin would be trusted to play a lot of minutes against the offensively loaded Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. But Muzzin was a key part of a 6-2 win in Game 2 at both ends of the ice.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 entering Game 3 on Saturday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).


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Murphy: Blackhawks will learn from loss, move on

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 4:34 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

The Chicago Blackhawks went from a 2-0 lead late in the second period of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final to 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

Though that could rattle some teams, longtime NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy isn't concerned with how the Blackhawks will react moving forward.

That starts with Game 3 on Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Murphy told NHL.com he believes the Blackhawks will get right back to doing the things that made them successful in Game 1 and for most of Game 2.

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Kings' blitz leaves Blackhawks stunned

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 1:03 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Everything was going just the way the Chicago Blackhawks planned against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, until the last two minutes of the second period.

Before they knew what hit them, the defending Stanley Cup Champions melted down in a 6-2 loss in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.

Chicago led 2-0 near the end of the second and appeared headed for a 2-0 lead in the series, which shifts to Staples Center for Game 3 on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS),. Instead, the Kings flipped the entire scene upside down in the final 22 minutes to even the series at a game apiece.

Ignited by a goal from Justin Williams that cut Chicago's lead to 2-1 with 1:46 left in the second, the Kings scored five unanswered goals in the third for a resounding victory, sending the series to Los Angeles even at one win apiece -- and leaving the Blackhawks shaking their heads.


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Carter-Toffoli-Pearson line comes up big again

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 12:48 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Before Game 2 of this Western Conference Final at United Center, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter dismissed a question about a line comprised of Jeff Carter, Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli because he felt they weren't playing together as much as they seemed to be getting credit for.

Sutter mixes and matches his lines a lot in certain situations. He gives and withdraws playing time from certain players based on how they are performing. It's not a perfect fit to say Carter and the two rookies make up Los Angeles' "second line" because Pearson and Toffoli typically end up near the bottom of time on ice among the forwards.

All of that said, those three players had a huge impact on Game 2. Carter finished with a hat trick and four points, all in the third period, and that line accounted for two important insurance goals to put this one out of reach for the Chicago Blackhawks in a 6-2 victory Wednesday that evened the series at 1-1.

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Quick robs Seabrook to set up Kings' Game 2 rally

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 12:48 AM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Kings were desperate.

Already down two goals against the Chicago Blackhawks midway through Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Wednesday at United Center, the visitors knew they could not allow another goal if a rally was in the cards.

"Give up three against them, you're in trouble," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said afterward.

Yet the Kings were on the verge of allowing that backbreaking third goal. They were a mess in their own end, unable to get out of their own way.

Chicago was using its speed to push the Los Angeles defenders back, its patented stretch pass creating prime scoring chance after prime scoring chance. At one point, top defenseman Drew Doughty was caught by television cameras smashing his stick against the boards while he sat on the Kings bench. It was an outburst Doughty later admitted was the result of how lackluster the Kings' own-zone play was for the first 30 minutes of the game.

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Kings' Williams possesses more than Game 7 goals

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Justin Williams is so well-known for something around the NHL he's earned a nickname for it.

"Mr. Game 7" scored the first goal for the Los Angeles Kings and helped set up another when they defeated the Anaheim Ducks in the winner-take-all finale of their Western Conference Second Round series. The designation is well-earned. Williams is 6-0 in Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7s, with six goals and 12 points.

When it's not a Game 7, Williams doesn't earn nearly the same level of attention. He fades off the marquee for the Kings and becomes one of the great role players they have assembled around stars Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick.

Maybe it shouldn't be that way.

Williams is one of the best in the League at winning battles for the puck along the boards, and that makes him an incredibly valuable player.

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Blackhawks-Kings could turn on battle of top lines

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's one of those matchups that should be watched closely throughout the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 1-0 heading into Game 2 on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), and a big reason is the matchup between the Blackhawks' top line and the Kings' first unit.

With right wing Marian Hossa's two assists in Game 1, including one on a big goal late in the third period by center Jonathan Toews, Chicago's top forwards led the way up front.

"They're a great line," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said after practice Tuesday. "Jonathan Toews … he is the best two-way player in the National Hockey League. Hossa is right there next in terms of wingers. That's for sure."

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Blackhawks forward Shaw close to returning

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, making his first public comments since sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round, opened his press conference with a simple question.

"Did you guys miss me?" Shaw said minutes after taking part in his first full practice since getting injured against the Minnesota Wild on May 2.

The answer, it seems, is a universal yes.

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Five Questions: Olczyk praises Blackhawks' Crawford

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features NBC broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, who also calls Chicago Blackhawks games on CSN Chicago:

MONTREAL -- Eddie Olczyk is working the Eastern Conference Final with a keen eye on what is happening out West because of his ties to the Chicago Blackhawks and the obvious need to follow what's happening across the NHL as NBC's lead color commentator.

Olczyk worked Chicago's first two rounds, six-game series victories against the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. He spoke about all things Blackhawks with NHL.com on Monday from Bell Centre.

The Blackhawks have a 1-0 lead on the Los Angeles Kings in the best-of-7 Western Conference Final. Game 2 is Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Carter, Gaborik flourish again after trades to Kings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Jeff Carter was going to be a member of the Philadelphia Flyers for all, or close to all, of his NHL career, and he had the legal document with his signature on it to prove it.

Carter signed an 11-year contract with the Flyers in November 2010 that would have kept him in Philadelphia until after his 37th birthday. He didn't make it to 27 with the Flyers, and a few months after celebrating that birthday, Carter was traded for a second time.

He landed with the Los Angeles Kings just before the NHL Trade Deadline in 2012 after a layover with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After being one of the top young stars in the NHL, Carter's reputation had been slighted upon his exit from Philadelphia and after he was unable to produce to expectations in central Ohio.

Carter became a great addition for the Kings. He added a scoring spark and helped balance out the forward lines. Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup a few months later.

Marian Gaborik joined the Kings just before the trade deadline this season in nearly an identical situation. He's a little older than Carter was, but Gaborik was once one of the League's elite goal-scorers and he had just been traded by two teams in less than a calendar year when he arrived in Los Angeles, from the Blue Jackets no less.

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season