Game 3 between the Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings begins at 7 p.m. on NBC, or you can watch via NBC Live Extra's live stream here. And don't forget to flip over to Comcast SportsNet after the game for Blackhawks Postgame Live, which will also be streaming on CSNChicago.com here.
1. Use embarrassment as motivation:
Game 2 turned pretty quickly Wednesday night at the United Center. After having their way with the Kings for almost two periods, the Blackhawks found themselves in a game when Justin Williams scored a fluke goal with less than two minutes to go in the second frame. Just nine minutes into the third period, Los Angeles had added three more, a figure that was more than they had managed in the first 80 minutes of this series. It was fast, it was furious, and it left the Blackhawks dazed and confused. But getting blown out by a large margin is sobering in a lot of respects. Had the Blackhawks lost by just one goal, you might rationalize that “those are the breaks." Not so in this lopsided victory. Six straight goals gets your attention in a hurry, and you can’t blame luck or bounces. You’ve got to look in the mirror, realize it’s a best of five series now for both teams, and focus on your next shift. The Kings will bring it early, and the Hawks have to be ready for the onslaught.
2. Power Play needs to strike fear:
I like Chicago’s power play a lot. What’s not to like when you have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith all on the ice at the same time. Marian Hossa has been relegated to the second unit with the wealth of talent they have. The power play has gone 7-for-21 at home with the extra attacker, good for a 33% efficiency rating. That number drops to 5.9% on the road. Why the stark contrast? Obviously, teams gear up for these all-stars and work their tails off when down a man. They also use their home crowd for inspiration, gaining momentum with a good kill. Chicago needs to start winning draws on the power play. Once you have it, it’s hard for the penalty killers to get it back. Then the Hawks need to be more of a shooting power play when they set up. The Kings are real good at shutting down seams and lanes where passes can be made, so it becomes critical that when you see some daylight between the puck and Jonathan Quick, that you get it on net. He’ll probably stop it, but with two or three guys going to the paint you should have some good looks with rebounds.
3. The Shaw Factor:
Everybody would like to have an Andrew Shaw on their team. He keeps it light in the dressing room with his constant banter and keeps it edgy on the ice with his constant drive. He is the “Little Engine That Could." The energy he brings to the table is infectious, and the hate and dislike he brings out in the opposition can throw them off their game (and into the penalty box). Who will ever forget his Game 2 heroics of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins last year when he won the game in triple overtime off of a Dave Bolland shot that went in off his shin pad. That game-winner was the fifth goal of his 2013 postseason. It may take a period or two for Shawsy to find his game, but Los Angeles will certainly notice him. He had a goal and 18 hits in the Western Conference Final against the Kings in 2013.