1. Get ready for a more physical Kings team: Although the stats said Los Angeles outhit Chicago 44-38, the best and most effective hits belonged to the Blackhawks. Viktor Stalberg, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland all had big, heavy hits that measured on the Richter scale. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter takes pride in having a physical team, and won’t be happy that the Blackhawks got the better of them in this department. Dustin Brown tried to even the score late in the game with a big hit on Jonathan Toews. Get ready for a meaner, testier LA team.
2. Defense provided a lot of offense at the Kings blue line: The Blackhawks defensemen did a great job of pinching in at the offensive blue line when LA was in control of the puck. Seven or eight times in the first period, the Chicago defensemen took calculated risks and jumped in to hit a Kings forward or rush a pass on a breakout. It worked everytime. Nick Leddy surprised Jarret Stoll with about 1 ½ minutes to go in that first period, got the puck, and fired the 17th Blackhawks shot of the period on Jonathan Quick. The “D” were a big part of the “O" at the offensive blue line.
3. Power play needs to win some draws: The Blackhawks won 1-of-6 faceoffs in the offensive zone when they had the man advantage. That’s not good. When the penalty killers win the draw, it normally gets cleared down the ice, and by the time you retrieve it and set up in the offensive zone again, 20 to 30 seconds has been lost. You win a draw with the man advantage, you get some time to actually run a set play before the penalty killers get into formation. With every game expected to be close, a power play goal or power play momentum could be the difference between a win or a loss.