Chicago Blackhawks, LA Kings collide in West finals - FOX 35 News Orlando

Blackhawks, Kings collide in West finals

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

For all the difficulties they endured along the way, the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are still standing.

They might want to buckle up, though. The ride could get even wilder.

The Blackhawks and Kings are poised for what could be a tight and lengthy Western Conference finals, with Game 1 at the United Center on Saturday.

The Kings already have more playoff losses than they did a year ago when they went on a 16-4 run through the postseason to capture the Stanley Cup as an eighth seed.

"I cited critical moments last year," Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said. "There were several of them this year where they were severely tested. They keep finding a way to fight through, as they've done at times during the playoffs.

The Blackhawks?

All they did was rally from a 3-1 deficit to beat Detroit in the conference semifinals, taking Game 7 2-1 on Brent Seabrook's overtime goal to remain in the hunt for their second title in four years.

"You don't draw it up, you don't plan to win a seven game series coming back from 3-1," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "Looking back, I think it is a good thing for our team to have gone through what we just went through, to kind of be pushed to the end, for a moment (to) feel like that was it. You have certain negative thoughts that kind of creep in. You try not to think about them, that you're up against a tough team and the odds are against you. But we stayed positive. We stuck with it. We just had that attitude that you take it one shift at the same time, you win one game at a time, anything can happen."

The next challenge figures to be a big one.

No goalie is hotter at the moment than the Kings' Jonathan Quick. All the Conn Smythe Trophy winner has done is allow just 20 goals in 13 postseason games while carrying Los Angeles to its second straight conference final.

He leads the playoffs in goals-against average (1.50), save percentage (.948) and shutouts (three), and the Kings have needed it with their offense generating little.

They're averaging just two goals per game in the postseason, and they realize they need to rediscover their scoring touch. That's something that wasn't an issue during the regular season, when they were 10th in the NHL and boasted the Western Conference's top goal-scorer in Jeff Carter.

Despite their difficulties putting the puck in the net, the Kings have managed to get by in the playoffs even if it hasn't been easy.

They dropped the first two games to St. Louis and needed seven to take out San Jose in the semifinals, with all four wins coming at home.

Now, it's the Blackhawks with the home-ice advantage and games on back-to-back days in their arena. Clearly, they see an opportunity there. But they also realize they could be in for a tough time.

They had their difficulties with a physical Detroit team, and now, here come the hard-hitting Kings.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • BlackhawksMore>>

  • Blackhawks, Blues set to go distance again

    Blackhawks, Blues set to go distance again

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:04:59 GMT
    A mood of euphoric exhaustion carried over to the next day after the St. Louis Blues won the longest game in franchise history and got the upper hand against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
    A mood of euphoric exhaustion carried over to the next day after the St. Louis Blues won the longest game in franchise history and got the upper hand against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
  • Hawks' Coach Q fined $25K for inappropriate gesture

    Hawks' Coach Q fined $25K for inappropriate gesture during Game 1

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:29 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:29:26 GMT
    Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fined $25,000 by the National Hockey League for an inappropriate gesture he made during Game 1 of the playoffs Thursday night.
    Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was fined $25,000 by the National Hockey League for an inappropriate gesture he made during Game 1 of the playoffs Thursday night.
  • Blackhawks drop Game 1 to the Blues 4-3 in triple OT

    Blackhawks drop Game 1 to the Blues 4-3 in triple OT

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-18 15:01:55 GMT
    Going into Game 1 the Blues were supposedly the fragile team but in the end they got what they deserved. At the 26 second mark of the third overtime Alexander Steen scored the game winner.
    Going into Game 1 the Blues were supposedly the fragile team but in the end they got what they deserved. At the 26 second mark of the third overtime Alexander Steen scored the game winner.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices