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Centers playing big role in Kings' playoff run

Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 10:26 PM / Blackhawks vs Kings - 2014 Western Conference Final

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Two years ago, the Los Angeles Kings fashioned their own version of the old "Pittsburgh model" of roster construction en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll became Los Angeles' version of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, and the Kings rolled through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 16-4 on their way to their first championship.

Late this season, coach Darryl Sutter moved Jeff Carter to center. Given the way this postseason is progressing, having four quality centers might be referred to as the "Los Angeles model" moving forward.

"Doesn't matter who we have there, we feel we match up with anybody," Carter said. "I think with the way we have it set up now, four solid lines, it's tough matchups for teams. Any of our lines can play against the top line on the opposing team. It's been working well for us. I think we found some chemistry on all our lines. I think everybody is comfortable in the roles they're in. It's been going good."

Special teams hurting Blackhawks against Kings

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup with a lagging power play before, but if they have any chance of defending their 2013 championship they must fix a broken unit in the Western Conference Final.

The Blackhawks, who've lost three straight games and trail the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, have allowed five power-play goals on 10 man-advantage opportunities for the Kings.

The 50-percent success rate is stunning heading into Game 5 on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), considering the Blackhawks led the NHL postseason in killing penalties at 91.3 percent through the first two rounds, allowing four goals on 46 power plays.

Five ways Blackhawks can extend series vs. Kings

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will have history and confidence on their side when they try to win three games on the run to escape a mess that has them on the verge of losing the Western Conference Final and forfeiting the opportunity to defend the Stanley Cup they won last June.

They begin the quest in Game 5 on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings at United Center (8 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Murphy: Kings winning net-front battles at both ends

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings, 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.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs there are very few of what fans might call pretty goals. The pucks that go in are not much farther than a stick blade away from the front of the net.

According to longtime NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy, the Los Angeles Kings lead the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 in the best-of-7 Western Conference Final because they're winning the majority of the battles in front of both nets.

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