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Blackhawks at Kings preview

Chicago tries to keep pace in playoff hunt; Los Angeles looks to avoid 11th straight loss

by Dan Greenspan / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (27-28-9) at KINGS (23-33-8)



The Game 

The Los Angeles Kings will try to avoid tying the longest losing streak in their history when they face the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Kings are 0-6-4 in the past 10 games after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, tying their second-longest losing streak (0-10-0 from Feb. 22-March 9, 1984). Los Angeles lost 11 straight games from March 16-April 4, 2004 (0-9-2). 

The Blackhawks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Wednesday and are 11-4-0 in their past 15 games. Chicago trails the Minnesota Wild by five points for the second wild card from the Western Conference into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Players to watch

Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson has four consecutive multipoint games. He has nine assists in that span.

Kings center Anze Kopitar had two goals and an assist against the Stars. He needs one goal for his 10th season with at least 20 goals in his 13-season NHL career.


They said it

"I think we're really competitive right now. It just seems like we've fallen into a team with all the guys we have now. I think we have a chance (to make the playoffs)." -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford

"We want to get back to being a hard-working team, and the one thing we can control is how hard we work and our intensity, and we want to make sure that stays there." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins 


Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane  

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Dominik Kahun 

Brendan Perlini -- Artem Anisimov -- Dylan Sikura   

Chris Kunitz -- Marcus Kruger -- John Hayden  

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook 

Slater Koekkoek -- Erik Gustafsson

Connor Murphy -- Carl Dahlstrom  

Corey Crawford

Cam Ward

Scratched: Gustav Forsling  

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion), David Kampf (foot)


Kings projected lineup

Tyler Toffoli -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown   

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Alex Iafallo -- Adrian Kempe -- Jonny Brodzinski   

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Austin Wagner  

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Dion Phaneuf -- Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Matt Luff 

Injured: Alec Martinez (upper body)


Status report

Saad will play on the first line with Toews and Kane after Caggiula sustained a concussion against Anaheim. Perlini will play for the first time since Feb. 18 and take the place of Saad on the third line. … Kovalchuk is expected to play after missing the game against the Stars because of an upper-body injury.  


Stat pack

Kane has a point in 28 of his past 30 games and 57 points (25 goals, 32 assists) in that span. … Brown will play in his 1,100th NHL game. … Toews has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during a seven-game streak.

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