Kings/'Hawks, Round 3: what you need to know [Game #31]

...It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to playoffs, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. --Hockey Dickens

• Chicago is 4-3-1 since our last meeting (11/27), snapping a 3 game losing streak by defeating Detroit 4-1 on Friday.

• Both clubs have 37 points. The Kings, however, have 4 games in hand and a better winning % (.617 vs. .544)

• The Hawks' powerplay is the best in the league (24.6%); their PK is near the worst (78.8%, 28th)

• Goal differentials: Kings +16 (88 GF, 72 GA), Hawks: +7 (108 GF, 101 GA).

• They have given up only two of those goals to the Kings.

• Watch out for: King-menace Patrick Sharp (2G 1A vs. LA this year); Captain Serious/Funnyface Toews (30 pts); Bryan Bickell (7 pts in the last 6 games)

• Injured: Viktor Stalberg (head), Marian Hossa (lower body); Patrick Kane (ankle) is anxious to return to the lineup but is still doubtful for tonight

Corey Crawford is expected to get the start (9-6-1, .913 SV%)

• Season series: Blackhawks up 2-0. Both teams have a lot of youth and some key injuries; both are coming off huge "Well I feel better and more disciplined now" wins over their last opponents. Will this road-weary Kings team still be able to build on the good things that happened in Nashville and finally win in Chicago's barn? Stay tuned.

Go Kings Go.