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Blackhawks at Kings preview

Los Angeles eyes fourth straight victory; Chicago tries to end seven-game road skid

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (27-29-8) at KINGS (36-24-5)



The Game 

The Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Kings, 6-2-0 in their past eight games, are in third place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the second-place San Jose Sharks and three ahead of the fourth-place Anaheim Ducks. Los Angeles has allowed two goals or fewer in six of their past eight games.

The Blackhawks, looking to avoid their third straight loss, are 3-10-1 in their past 14 games. They hope to end a seven-game road losing streak (0-6-1).

Chicago is in seventh place in the Central Division, 12 points behind the Ducks for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.  


Players to watch

Kings forward Tyler Toffoli has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. 

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five games after having no point in his previous five games.


They said it

"That means that I got a couple bounces that I haven't gotten all year. That's not my role to get points, but it's always fun when it happens, so I'll try to enjoy it as much as I can." -- Kings defenseman Christian Folin on his three assists in a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday

"It's up to us to take responsibility. Can't blame any other circumstances. We just have to find ways to be better, that's all we can focus on." -- Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Tomas Jurco -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Nick Schmaltz -- Matthew Highmore

Patrick Sharp -- David Kampf -- Anthony Duclair   

Duncan Keith -- Jordan Oesterle

Connor Murphy -- Brent Seabrook

Erik Gustafsson -- Carl Dahlstrom

Anton Forsberg

J-F Berube

Scratched: None

Injured: Jan Rutta (lower body), Corey Crawford (upper body) 


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Nate Thompson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tobias Rieder

Kyle Clifford -- Michael Amadio -- Torrey Mitchell   

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Dion Phaneuf -- Alec Martinez

Jake Muzzin -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Paul LaDue, Kevin Gravel

Injured: Trevor Lewis (upper body)


Status report

With one player recall from the American Hockey League available for the remainder of the season, the Blackhawks are carrying 19 skaters on the roster. Chicago would be able to make emergency recalls in case of injury. … Lewis went through a limited-contact practice Friday, but there is no updated timetable for his return.   


Stat pack

Toews has no points in his past five games after scoring seven points (two goals, five assists) in his previous seven games. … Kopitar has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past four games and 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in his past 21 games.

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