Preview/Game thread Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

  

Los Angeles Kings (4–7–0) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (2–5–2)

6:00 p.m. CDT
United Center
TV/Radio: NBCSN/WGN

Projected starting goaltenders

ChicagoRobin Lehner (1–1–2, .922 save percentage, 2.44 goals-against average)
LA KingsJack Campbell (2–2–0, .897 save percentage, 2.76 goals-against average)

Team statistics

Power play
Chicago (10.3%, 26th)
LA Kings (9.5%, 28th)

Penalty kill
Chicago (70.4%, 28th)
LA Kings (72.5%, 25th)

Shots for/against
Chicago
32.2, 12th
32.2, 10th
LA Kings
37.1, first
28.5, second

Shooting percentage
Chicago (6.9%, 30th)
LA Kings (7.35%, 28th)

Face-off percentage
Chicago (49.9%, 18th)
LA Kings (51.4%, eighth)

Average height and weight
Chicago — 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
Los Angeles — 6-foot-1, 203 pounds

Projected lines and pairings

Chicago Blackhawks

Alex DeBrincatJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane
Dominik KubalikDavid KampfAlexander Nylander
Brandon SaadKirby DachAndrew Shaw
Dylan StromeRyan CarpenterDrake Caggiula

Duncan KeithCalvin de Haan
Olli MaattaDennis Gilbert
Slater KoekkoekErik Gustafsson

Los Angeles Kings

Alex IafalloAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Jeff CarterBlake LizotteTyler Toffoli
Ilya KovalchukAdrian KempeTrevor Lewis
Kyle CliffordMichael AmadioAustin Wagner

Ben HuttonDrew Doughty
Alec MartinezSean Walker
Kurtis MacDermidMatt Roy

Analysis

After laying a big fat goose-egg in Carolina, yesterday, the Blackhawks lick their wounds and try to get themselves a win against the equally struggling LA Kings for the Hockey Fights Cancer event, tonight at the United Center. Head coach Jeremy Colliton shook up the lines against the Hurricanes but it did little good. As a result, fans will immediately notice that assistant captain Brent Seabook is a healthy scratch for the contest. The active franchise leader in games played (1091) has only been a healthy scratch only one other time in his Blackhawks career.

Additionally, winger Drake Caggiula will draw back into the lineup after sitting in Carolina in favor of veteran Zack Smith. With $10.125 million of players sitting in the press box, the Blackhawks are running out of time to get this year’s ball rolling. While their goals against are in the top third of the NHL, they are dead last in goals for. Part of this is bad puck-luck but a portion of this can be attributed to their anemic power play, which is a dreadful 10.3% (3-for-29).

Birthday boy Brandon Saad has been one of the best overall players for the Blackhawks this season and looks to have a big night to celebrate the big two-seven.

The Kings are coming off a terrible 5–1 loss to the one team in the central division that might be worse than the Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild.  Minnesota was only 3–7–0 coming into last night’s game, yet the Kings came in and gave up four unanswered goals to lose despite leading in shots on goal and dominating the faceoff circle.

This matchup defies logic. The Kings are first overall in shots-on-net per game and second overall in fewest shots given up per game, yet they are only 4–7–0 on the season. Special teams will be an interesting part of tonight’s game, as both teams show up in the bottom third of the league on both the power play and penalty kill.

Both goalies, Robin Lehner and Jack Campbell, have played better than their “starting” counterparts in the opportunities given. Lehner boasts a 92.2 save percentage, while Campbell has a below league average 89.7 save percentage but has a respectable goals-against average of only 2.77.

Individually, Kings’ center Anze Kopitar needs just one point for 900 in his career and wing Ilya Kovalchuk is just one game behind Pavel Bure for fourth overall in games played by a Russian born player.

Will this game be a battle of attrition with both teams struggling to score or a wild west type shootout where 10-plus goals are put up on the board?

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And, be sure to look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game by John Jaeckel right here on The-Rink.com.

Additional special game notes:
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation are hosting “Hockey Fights Cancer” night this evening. During warmups, players will wear newly-designed “Hockey Fights Cancer” jerseys, which will each be autographed and auctioned off online to benefit various local cancer-related organizations through the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. Coaches and broadcasters will wear purple ties, which will also be included in the auction accompanied by an autographed photo.

The auction will begin on Sunday, Oct. 27 and run through Monday, Nov. 4 at noon. Interested fans can visit Blackhawks.com/HockeyFightsCancer for more information. Through the team’s partnership with Make-A-Wish Illinois and Bear Necessities, five local children battling cancer will accompany the Blackhawks starting lineup on the blue line for the National Anthem

Additionally, Benoit Savard, a 12-year-old from Lévis, Québec, who is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, will perform the ceremonial puck drop prior to the game as part of his Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada experience.

Center Ice Forums Preview/Game thread Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

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