7: Kings-Blackhawks WCF Game 3 Preview

<3 tyty <3 - Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks (Staples Center)

Time: 5:00 PM

TV: CBC, NBC, RDS

Enemy reading: Second City Hockey

Blackhawks (projected) lineup:

Bickell-Toews-Hossa
Saad-Handzus-Kane
Sharp-Shaw-Versteeg
Bollig-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Leddy-Rozsival

Crawford

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin; Scratched: Peter Regin, Jeremy Morin, Joakim Nordstrom, Sheldon Brookbank, David Rundblad

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
King-Richards-Williams
Clifford-Stoll-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Greene-Martinez

Quick

Injured: Robyn Regehr; Scratched: Jeff Schultz, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff, Patrik Bartosak, Derek Forbort, Colin Miller, Scott Sabourin, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Andrew Campbell, Colin Fraser

Game Notes:

  • The biggest news heading into this game is that Andrew Shaw has recovered from injury, and will centre the Blackhawks' third line tonight - meaning that the real biggest news heading into this game is that, for some reason, Brandon Bollig will remain in the Blackhawks lineup. That is obviously good news for the Kings. Instead of the awful Bollig, the serviceable if unspectacular Peter Regin will sit.
  • Coach Sutter revealed yesterday that Robyn Regehr's mysterious ailment is a knee injury, which is clearly excellent news because it's not like his speed could get any worse. According to Rich Hammond, Regehr has been skating on his own, but he has yet to practice with the team. At the rate his recovery has been progressing, it appears unlikely that he will be available to the team for the rest of this series.
  • The Blackhawks took it to the Kings at the beginning of game two, but the third period was one of the Kings' best periods of hockey in months. In particular, the King-Richards-Williams line which developed mid-way through the game was quite effective, and looks to be sticking around for at least another game. In terms of distribution of offensive/defensive talent, this may be the Kings' most balanced forward configuration yet. The Blackhawks had no answer for it in game 2, but I wouldn't expect that to continue for much longer.
  • The return to Staples Center and last change means that Coach Sutter can finally pry Anze Kopitar away from the Jonathan Toews match-up. Although Kopitar has been performing better against Toews during this series than he has in recent history, this will likely give the top line a little more room to make some magic happen. Let's not talk about what happens when Toews has gotten out against the Richards line though shhhh...
  • Corey Crawford certainly wasn't at fault for most of the Kings' comeback in game 2, and correspondingly wasn't pulled, but no series feels complete to me anymore without the Kings causing a goalie controversy for the other team. BRING ME THE HEAD OF ANTTI RAANTA.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater.
  • Prediction: Kings play a full game like that amazing third period, win 18-0, obviously.
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