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Los Angeles Kings (25-10-4) at Chicago Blackhawks (27-7-7)

December 30th, 2013 at 5:22 PM
By Andrew McIntyre

The Chicago Blackhawks are back home as they play host to the Los Angeles Kings tonight. The Blackhawks have won two of their last three but are coming off a 6-5 shootout loss on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. The Kings have lost two straight. This is the second of three meetings between the teams. The Blackhawks won the first meeting 3-1 on December 15.

Here are some notes for tonight's game:

  • Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has six goals over his last three games and 12 goals in the month of December.
  • Defenseman Duncan Keith has six assists over his last three games and 13 points over his last nine for the Blackhawks.
  • The Blackhawks lead the NHL in scoring at 3.73 goals per game. The Kings lead the league in fewest goals against at 1.97 per game.
  • Kings forward Anze Kopitar has four points over his last three games. Kopitar leads the Kings with 33 points.
  • Forward Mike Richards has failed to register a point in each of his last seven games for the Kings. Richards is second on the team with 27 points.
  • The Kings are only one of two teams (the other being the Florida Panthers) who are undefeated when leading after two periods.

Battle Between The Pipes

Chicago Blackhawks: Antti Raanta (9-1-3, 2.38 GAA, .906 SV%)

Raanta will get the start again for the Blackhawks. He will try to erase his short-term memory once again as he gave up five goals and the shootout winner to St. Louis on Saturday. With starting goaltender Corey Crawford on his way back from injury in the short future, Raanta will try to show the Blackhawks why he should split games.

Los Angeles Kings: Martin Jones (8-1-0, 1.31 GAA, .953 SV%)

The Kings haven`t officially announced their starter but it`s expected to be Jones. Martin Jones has had one of the best stretches to start a career for a goaltender in NHL history. He won his first eight games, recording three shutouts and not allowing more than two goals in any game. He is coming off his first loss of the season where he allowed four goals on December 23 against the Dallas Stars.

Players To Watch

Chicago Blackhawks: Forward, Patrick Kane: 23 G, 30 A, 53 P

Kane enters tonight on a 14-game point streak, recording 25 points during that stretch. He has points in 26 of his last 27 games and has been arguably the league`s most valuable player during the first half of the season. 

Los Angeles Kings: Forward, Jeff Carter: 12 G, 10 A, 22 P

Carter has 10 points over his last eight games and seems to finally be healthy after missing some time earlier in the season due to a foot injury. Once a 40-goal scorer, Carter has the ability to score in bunches and loves to fire shots at the net.

X Factors

Chicago Blackhawks: Defenseman, Nick Leddy: 5 G, 13 A, 18 P

Leddy is one of the fastest defensemen in the league and likes to join the offensive rush. His speed could greatly affect the game against a more physical Kings team.

Los Angeles Kings: Defenseman, Slava Voynov: 3 G, 13 A, 16 P

Voynov has a big slapshot and isn't afraid to use it. Even though he only has three goals on the season, his blue line presence creates opportunities for his teammates.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. CT.

Let's Go Hawks!

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