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Preview: Blackhawks at Kings

Chicago trying to end three-game losing streak; Los Angeles playing final home game

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (50-23-8) at KINGS (38-35-7)

6 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-CH, NHL.TV

 

Blackhawks team scope

The Chicago Blackhawks have lost three straight games heading into their regular-season finale. The losing streak began after they clinched the Central Division and No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last Saturday. Chicago hasn't lost four in a row all season. "We still have to play one more game, and that's the focus," coach Joel Quenneville said. "In the past, we've played in this situation before. Playing for keeps is what our teams like to do, but let's not look past L.A." The Blackhawks rested some veterans in the first two games of the three-game road trip. Defenseman Duncan Keith sat out a 4-3 shootout loss at the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday and a 4-0 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, and forwards Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and defenseman Brent Seabrook were scratched against the Ducks. All are expected to play. "Playoffs are coming up," forward Ryan Hartman said. "You don't want to think too hard about games like these and carry them on your shoulders going into the playoffs." Forward Patrick Kane is the only Chicago player with at least five years NHL experience who has played every game this season. He was four points behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers for the NHL scoring lead after getting three assists in a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 31 but has one point in the past three games (McDavid has six).

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and will finish with their lowest point total in an 82-game schedule since getting 79 in 2008-09. The Kings and Blackhawks played in the Western Conference Final in 2013 and 2014, with each winning once on the way to the Stanley Cup. "You've got a lot of players, even though they might've been here a year or two, they haven't been prominent parts," coach Darryl Sutter said. "They have not gotten the experience in winning. They do not have the experience of playoffs. It's a big, big difference." Forward Jarome Iginla said they hope to play well in the final home game. "It's disappointing when you're eliminated," Iginla said. "That's a tough part of it, but at the same time, once you get in the game you want to win it. You get out there, you forget about all that other stuff, you just want to win the game and enjoy playing it and playing hard and playing it the right way. It's our last home game. We'd like to go out in front of our fans on a good note."

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Nick Schmaltz -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin -- Tanner Kero -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Marcus Kruger -- Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Andrew Desjardins -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Michal Kempny

Johnny Oduya -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Niklas Hjalmarsson, Gustav Forsling, Michal Rozsival, Vinnie Hinostroza, John Hayden

Injured: Artem Anisimov (lower body)

 

Kings projected lineup

Jarome Iginla -- Anze Kopitar -- Marian Gaborik

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Adrian Kempe -- Nic Dowd -- Jonny Brodzinski

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Dustin Brown

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Paul LaDue

Brayden McNabb -- Alex Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Ben Bishop

Scratched: Jordan Nolan, Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel

Injured: none

 

Status report

Nolan was not on the ice for practice on Friday after he did not attend the morning skate before Los Angeles played the Calgary Flames on Thursday. "You want guys really interested in practicing and playing, right?" Sutter said.

 

Who's hot

Shore had four points (one goal, three assists) against the Edmonton Oilers two games ago. ... Lewis has scored in the past two games. ... LaDue has an assist in each of the past three games for an NHL career-high point streak. ... Panarin has seven points (six goals, one assist) in the past six games.

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