We have a (second-round) winner. And it’s a playoff opponent with which the Chicago Blackhawks are very familiar.
The Los Angeles Kings, who beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 in Game 7 on Friday night, will face the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final for the second consecutive year.
Game 1 is 2 p.m. (all times central) Sunday at the United Center, with Game 2 scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Los Angeles will host Game 3 on May 24 at 7 p.m. and Game 4 is May 26 at 8 p.m. Of the if-necessary games, Game 5 is in Chicago at 7 p.m. on May 28, Game 6 is in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. on May 30 and Game 7 is at the United Center at 7 p.m. on June 1.
The Blackhawks beat the Kings 4-1 in the conference finals last season but be careful about comparing the two. The Kings were barely scoring two goals a game when they entered the series last spring; entering Friday’s game, the Kings were averaging 3.00 goals per game this postseason. Chicago has been strong defensively this postseason, however, allowing 2.25 goals per game.
Los Angeles has been the comeback team this postseason. The Kings trailed the San Jose Sharks in the first round 3-0 before rattling off four consecutive victories to claim that series. They were down 3-2 to the Ducks before winning these final two contests.
Justin Williams opened the Game 7 scoring for the Kings. It was Williams’ sixth career goal in a Game 7. Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist, as did Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. Jonathan Quick stopped 25 of 27 shots for the victory.
Corey Crawford said the Kings are a “playoff-molded team.”
“The Kings, it seems like every year now they go pretty far,” he said. “They have great defense, their goalie is obviously a big factor for that team. They’ve added some scoring, too, with Gaborik. They’re a strong team.”
Here's the complete schedule for Blackhawks-Kings:
|Sunday, May 18||2 p.m.||Kings at Blackhawks||NBC|
|Wednesday, May 21||7 p.m.||Kings at Blackhawks||NBCSN|
|Saturday, May 24||7 p.m.||Blackhawks at Kings||NBC|
|Monday, May 26||8 p.m.||Blackhawks at Kings||NBCSN|
|*Wednesday, May 28||7 p.m.||Kings at Blackhawks||NBCSN|
|*Friday, May 30||8 p.m.||Blackhawks at Kings||NBCSN|
|*Sunday, June 1||7 p.m.||Kings at Blackhawks||NBCSN|