GAME: Los Angeles Kings (16-14-10-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (11-23-7-5).
TIME: Sunday, 7 p.m. EST.
Despite going more than a month without a victory, the Los Angeles Kings
have remained in the playoff race.
The Kings look to end a 14-game winless streak when they conclude a
four-game road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Although the Kings haven't won since a 4-2 victory over Edmonton on Dec. 16,
they have gained 11 points during the winless streak with nine ties and two
overtime losses (0-3-9-2). The 14-game stretch without a victory is the longest
for Los Angeles since it went 0-7-9 from Dec. 26, 1981-Jan. 27, 1982.
The Kings earned a point for the fourth straight game (0-0-3-1) with a 3-2
loss in overtime at Columbus on Friday.
"If you want to get in the playoffs you have to keep accumulating points,"
Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said. "We've been doing that but we'd rather get
two points instead of one all the time."
Injuries have been the biggest factor during the winless streak.
The Kings are without leading scorer Ziggy Palffy, who is out for the season
following shoulder surgery, as well as forward Martin Straka. Forwards Jason
Allison and Adam Deadmarsh haven't played all season, and defenseman Aaron
Miller has been sidelined since Dec. 10 with a cervical strain.
After being a healthy scratch the past two games, Kings left wing Luc
Robitaille is expected back in the lineup Sunday.
Murray explained why he kept Robitaille, who has gone nine games without a
goal, in street clothes Friday.
"Luc is a proud man and wants to help," Murray said. "But we were coming
off probably the best game we played this season where we didn't lose. I wanted
to keep the group together."
Chicago dropped its 15th straight road game Wednesday, 4-2 to Detroit.
The 15-game road slide (0-14-0-1) is one shy of the franchise record, set
during the 1953-54 season.
"It doesn't matter where you play," goalie Steve Passmore said. "We're
not stacking up a whole lot of wins no matter where we're playing."
The Blackhawks' season has been on a downward trend since starting goalie
Jocelyn Thibault sustained a hip injury in early November. With Passmore,
Michael Leighton and Craig Anderson sharing the goaltending duties, Chicago is
Anderson, 0-9-2 in two NHL seasons, was recalled from the minors Thursday.
"I haven't heard from the coaching staff about what's going to happen as
far as games go," Anderson said. "When I get in, I just want to do the best I