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Kings-Blackhawks Preview

NHL.com @NHL

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to sweep the season series from the Los Angeles Kings for just the second time in franchise history on Friday at the United Center.

Both of these teams will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year. The Blackhawks (27-39-9) have 63 points, one fewer than the Kings (25-35-14), and the only team below them in the Western Conference standings is Phoenix.

This game gives Chicago a chance for its lone sweep of an opponent this season. The only time the team swept Los Angeles in a season in the 40-year history of this series came in 1981-82, when the Blackhawks won all three meetings.

Both matchups in Los Angeles this season went past regulation, including the Blackhawks' 4-3 shootout victory on March 15 in the most recent one. That win came nine days after the Kings lost 3-0 in Chicago.

Though the Blackhawks have done their fair share of scoring against Los Angeles, they are tied for the fewest goals in the NHL with 182 and have been outscored 14-5 on their current three-game losing streak.

Patrick Sharp has been one of their few offensive bright spots over the last month with 10 goals in his last 18 games. He scored for the second game in a row on Wednesday in a 4-1 home loss to San Jose.

Chicago gave up two more power-play goals Wednesday and has allowed opponents to score on seven of 19 chances with the man advantage in the last three games. The Blackhawks have allowed at least one power-play goal in six straight contests.

Patrick Lalime made 16 saves and has allowed 11 goals in his last two starts. However, he felt the Blackhawks had a chance trailing just 2-1 after two periods.

"A couple of bounces here and there and it could have been a different game," Lalime said. "I thought it was a good effort by our guys."

Nikolai Khabibulin, who was in net for the three wins over the Kings, could be back in goal for Chicago on Friday. He has won four straight against Los Angeles and has six career shutouts in 25 games against the Kings.

Los Angeles missed a chance to win three games in a row for the first time this season after falling 4-2 to Dallas on Wednesday.

With the game tied at one after two periods, the Kings allowed three third-period goals and lost to the Stars for the eighth time this season.

"We wore out a little bit," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "It's frustrating and disappointing not to beat them. We just have to keep trying to do things and persevere."

Jamie Lundmark and Dustin Brown scored for Los Angeles, which is 3-1-1 in its last five contests.

Brown has at least one point in each of his last six games. Lundmark has three goals in his last four games, including one against Chicago last week.

Rookie Anze Kopitar did not score Wednesday in his return after missing 10 games with a back injury. Kopitar has 18 goals and 56 points this season.

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