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Game 5 vs. Chicago Is Likely To Be The LA Kings Toughest Challenge Yet During 2014 Playoffs

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar (foreground), shown here being pursued by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane during Game 4 of the 2014
Western Conference Final at Staples Center in Los Angeles on May 26, 2014.

LOS ANGELES — After the Los Angeles Kings soundly defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, in Game 4 of the 2014 Western Conference Final at Staples Center in Los Angeles on May 26, many media, pundits and fans alike declared the Blackhawks dead, and the series over.

The Blackhawks are trailing in the series, 3-1, facing elimination in tonight’s Game 5 in Chicago. But as the saying goes, there’s a reason they play the games, and as the Kings themselves have proven during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, coming back to win a series after being pushed to the brink of elimination is not impossible.

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Los Angeles Kings Are Holding On By A Quickly Unraveling Thread As They Face Elimination

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice
session, has scored just two goals in his last 33 games
(17 playoff games and 16 regular season games).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings are in Chicago, hours away from a win-or-go home Game 5 matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks, who lead their best-of-seven Western Conference Final playoff series, 3-1.

The Blackhawks, even without their top defenseman, Duncan Keith (suspended), used their superior speed and surprisingly strong physical play to force the Kings into numerous turnovers and to keep Kings forwards on the perimeter throughout most of Game 4, a 3-2 Chicago victory that was not as close as the score might indicate.

Indeed, the disparity in quality scoring chances fell heavily in favor of the Blackhawks, who could have easily won this game by a two or three-goal margin, if not for the strong play of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, even though the Blackhawks’ first goal by forward Bryan Bickell was a soft goal.

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Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings Turnover A Game 4 Win To Chicago Blackhawks

LOS ANGELES — Despite twice leading the game by one goal, turnovers proved too costly for the Los Angeles Kings, who dropped a critical 3-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of their Western Conference Final series.

With the loss, the Kings’ backs are against the wall heading into Game 5 in Chicago on Saturday (5:00 PM PDT, NBC), with the Blackhawks holding both a commanding 3-1 lead in the series along with all the momentum.

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2013 Western Conference Finals: Goaltending, Physical Style Should Help LA Kings Advance Past Chicago Blackhawks

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into Game 1 of the 2013 Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Kings face their greatest challenge yet this season in the President’s Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks.

Having lost two of the three games against Chicago in the regular season might be a red flag for many. But the Kings won the last contest between the two teams on March 25, 5-4, at a time when the Kings were different team than the one the Blackhawks faced earlier in the season.

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