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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 25th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (17-12-2) at Chicago Blackhawks (24-3-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to avoid a third straight loss when they begin a five-game road trip with Monday's showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Kings began a recent five-game homestand with three straight wins, but were shut out in the final two tests, getting blanked in consecutive games against Dallas and Vancouver.
The Stars notched a 2-0 win at L.A. on Thursday and the Canucks recorded a 1-0 regulation win against the Kings on Saturday. The most recent loss initially dropped Los Angeles two points behind the Canucks for the fourth seed in the West and the Kings have since fallen into a tie for sixth with St. Louis.
L.A. outshot the Canucks by a 20-13 margin on Saturday, but Cory Schneider stopped all 20 shots to help his team get the two points. Mason Raymond had the only goal of the contest, scoring for the Canucks midway through the first period.
Jonathan Quick stopped 12 shots for the Kings, who were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since losing two straight 1-0 decisions on Feb. 16 and 18 of last season.
"We've outshot our opponents 2-to-1 these last two games, but we can't get one to go in the net," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "You want your goalies to give you a chance and they are."
The Kings are just 5-8-1 on the road this season compared to a 12-4-1 mark at the Staples Center. L.A. also will visit St. Louis, Minnesota, Dallas and Phoenix during this swing.
Despite suffering all three of its regulation losses over the last six games, Chicago is still leading the Western Conference. Although the Blackhawks have been idle since losing 4-2 to Anaheim on Wednesday, they still lead the Ducks by three points for the West's top spot.
The loss in Anaheim dropped Chicago's record this season to 24-3-3 and also prevented the Blackhawks from completing a perfect four-game road trip.
Teemu Selanne scored the winner with 4:23 to play as Anaheim rallied for the win over the Blackhawks. Chicago led 2-1 heading into the third period, but Bobby Ryan tied the game with 5:27 left before Selanne produced the decisive tally. Sheldon Souray completed the scoring with an empty-net tally.
Jonathan Toews and Nick Leddy both scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford gave up three goals on 25 shots and is expected to get the start on Monday.
"We have to keep working and keep doing the right things," said Toews. "We had a couple of breakdowns. Next thing you know, we are down a goal. We played good enough to win but made a few mistakes in the last five minutes and they made us pay for it."
Monday's game kicks off a three-game homestand for the Blackhawks, who are 11-1-1 as the host this season. Chicago is playing its first game at the United Center since having a nine-game home winning streak snapped by Edmonton on March 10.
Chicago is 2-0 against the defending champion Kings this season and has taken nine of the last 12 meetings in this series. L.A. has lost seven of its past nine tilts in the Windy City, including a 3-2 setback at the United Center on Feb. 17.
03/25 10:50:05 ET