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2014 NHL Western Conference Final Preview: LA Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar

ANAHEIM AND LOS ANGELES, CA — At this time one year ago, the Los Angeles Kings went into the Western Conference Final (WCF) against the Chicago Blackhawks a bruised, battered and banged up team, as several players continued to play despite having suffered injuries earlier in the playoffs.

To make matters worse, center Anze Kopitar was in the midst of a 34-game scoring slump, the longest drought of his National Hockey League career, and it could not have come at a worse time.

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On The Brink Of Elimination, LA Kings Must Figure Out That It’s Not Just About Themselves

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

ANAHEIM AND LOS ANGELES, CA — After taking a 2-0 lead in their second round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Kings have dropped three straight games, and face elimination tonight when they host the Ducks in Game 6 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (6:30 PM PDT; televised on NBCSN in the United States; TSN and RDS in Canada).

What has been surprising about the Kings so far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs is that the best defensive team in the regular season has been anything but in the post-season.

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2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Are Really Offensive

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (foreground center)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings prepared for tonight’s Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, they knew that despite winning Game 1, they must play considerably better than they did, if they expect to win Game 2, let alone advance to the Western Conference Finals.

In Game 1, the Kings found themselves hemmed into their own zone by the Ducks for extended periods, much of that caused by their own mistakes.

“I thought our puck management wasn’t great,” said right wing Justin Williams. “I didn’t think our forecheck was great. I think all around, everyone has areas to improve on and myself, personally, also.”

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Frozen Royalty Audio: LA Kings Are Focused On Possibilities Despite 3-0 Series Deficit

LA Kings left wing Marian Gaborik.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Looking way up at a 3-0 deficit in their first round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, the Los Angeles Kings are facing elimination and all the pressure that goes along with it.

Despite that coming back to win a series after being down, 3-0, has been done before. It’s an extremely rare occurrence, but it has been done.

That their task is not impossible seems to be exactly the attitude the Kings are taking into tonight’s Game 4 at Staples Center.

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