NHL Preview – Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Preview – Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks

01:30am) Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks

We’re being treated to a high power western conference match-up this evening. The Kings make way to the Windy City, hoping to return to California with a win, as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

I’ve mentioned before when writing about the Kings about their struggles on the road this season. That being said, March has been a good month for them on the road, most recently earning wins against the Rangers, Isles and Devils. They anchoring 17th in the league, 9th in the West and 4th in the Pacific, meaning their playoff chances are still in tact, sitting a game in hand and two less points than the Jets who currently occupy the final western playoff spot. Kings are still without Stoll and Tanner Pearson who are injured. Jonathan Quick will get the start between the sticks tonight who has started and split both games against the Hawks this season, but he hasn’t put up great numbers. He’s been incredibly hot in the month of March with a 1.99 GAA and .921 SV%. They’ve fared okay against Central opposition this season, getting 9 wins from 19 contests.

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The Blackhawks have established themselves since their dominant 2010 championship season as one of the most imposing teams in the league. That has only continued this season, and they’ve established Chicago as a hard place to go, earning 22 wins in 37 there this season, 12th best home team in the league. They currently sit 7th in the league, 4th in the West, and 3rd in the Central. They’ve nearly secured their playoff spot and are hot on the tails of the teams above them. They’re not struggling too bad with injuries other than Patrick Kane who is a month into his rehab. They’re also without Nordstrom and Dan Carcillo. Scott Darling is getting the start tonight after Corey Crawford’s taxing night in their last game against Winnipeg. Darling’s start of his NHL career went well, earning 7 wins from 10 and posting numbers of 1.84 GAA and .938 SV%, statically the best from all the Chicago tendies this season. They’ve earned 11 wins from 19 against Pacific opposition this season, with the majority of losses coming on the road.

This is one of my favourite head-to-head games in the NHL, and I’m even more excited about this tilt because the playoff implications are huge for both teams, both with a lot to play for. Despite Chicago not rolling with a starting tendie tonight, Darling has proved his worth, and I can’t get my mind off how bad Kings were on the road just before the all-star break. Because of that, I’m rolling the the Blackhawks to earn the win tonight, putting pressure on the Blues at the top.

DG.

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