The Blackhawks opened their regular season in Los Angeles, watching the Kings unfurl and raise their Stanley Cup banner. More than four months later, they denied the Kings another Cup opportunity.
What was deemed their toughest test on paper turned out to be a five-game triumph, as the Blackhawks eliminated the defending champs quicker than expected. Watch the Western Conference Final Game 1, 2, 4 and 5 victories again, beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
The Kings were considered the Blackhawks’ biggest adversary entering the postseason. They were bigger, they were physical and goaltender Jonathan Quick was once again proving tough to get pucks past. But after their emotionally charged, seven-game series victory over Detroit, the Blackhawks weren’t messing around with the Kings.
[RELIVE THE MAGIC: The Blackhawks' "2013 Road to the Cup"]
Granted, the Kings had taken their lumps in their previous two series against St. Louis and San Jose, both equally physical groups. They had struggled to score, managing just two goals a game entering the series vs. Chicago. Still, Quick was the wildcard, the guy who had provided the Kings with the defensive lift they needed. But in this series, the Blackhawks got to Quick, even chasing him in the middle of their Game 2 victory.
The Blackhawks also cleared their biggest hurdle to date when they played Game 4 without Duncan Keith, who was suspended for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face in Game 3. The Blackhawks improvised, tinkered with their back lines – Michal Rozsival played about 10 more minutes than usual -- and overcame two one-goal deficits to take a 3-2 victory in Game 4 and a 3-1 series lead back to Chicago. It was the first time the Kings lost on home ice in the postseason.
[Hat-Trick Hero: Kane sends Hawks back to Cup Final]
This was also the series in which coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks “want more” from right wing Patrick Kane, who struggled through the Detroit series and most of the L.A. one. The message was received, as Kane scored one in Game 4, then recorded his hat-trick in Game 5 to propel the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup Final in four seasons.
“It's nice to win, first and foremost. To contribute the last couple games, I think any player would be lying to you if they said it isn't nice,” Kane said after that Game 5 victory. “You know what, big two wins the last couple games, especially tonight after they came back and tied it up with nine seconds. For us to hang in there in the first overtime and pull it out in the second overtime was huge. It was just a huge win to get us to the Final.”
Here's the complete CSN Replay schedule:
|GAME||OPPONENT||RESULT||CSN REPLAY AIR DATE|
|Game 1||vs. Kings||Hawks 2, Kings 1||Tue., 7/16 10:00 a.m.|
|Game 2||vs. Kings||Hawks 4, Kings 2||Tue., 7/16 12:30 p.m.|
|Game 4||@ Kings||Hawks 3, Kings 2||Tue., 7/16 3:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Kings||Hawks 4, Kings 3 (2OT)||Tue., 7/16 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 1||vs. Bruins||Hawks 4, Bruins 3 (3OT)||Wed., 7/17 9:00 a.m.|
|Game 2||vs. Bruins||Bruins 2, Hawks 1 (OT)||Wed., 7/17 12:50 p.m.|
|Game 3||@ Bruins||Bruins 2, Hawks 0||Wed., 7/17 3:30 p.m.|
|Game 4||@ Bruins||Hawks 6, Bruins 5 (OT)||Wed., 7/17 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Bruins||Hawks 3, Bruins 1||Thu., 7/18 3:30 p.m.|
|Game 6||@ Bruins||Hawks 3, Bruins 2||Thu., 7/18 7:00 p.m.|
|Blackhawks Parade and Rally||Thu., 7/18 10:30 p.m.|