Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2011-12 season:
Game 37 @ Chicago
December 28, 2011
5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST)
After going 3-0-1 in their last four, the Los Angeles Kings are in for a tough test if they hope to continue their winning way. The Kings travel to Chicago for the first time this season to face a Blackhawks team they have not beaten in over two years.
The last time Los Angeles beat Chicago was on November 28, 2009. Since then, the Hawks won the next seven meetings, most recently a 2-1 win last month at Staples Center. The Kings, though, have been resurgent lately, especially under new head coach Darryl Sutter. Sutter returns to the city he called home during his playing career and his early coaching career and a victory in the Windy City will certainly help not only the new head coach but the team overall.
After struggling lately, Drew Doughty has found his way again. He may not be scoring as much as he should be but #8 is certainly finding other ways to help his team out. Captain Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have also stepped up their game recently.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they will be playing tonight without the services of Simon Gagne. The veteran did not accompany the team to Chicago after suffering an apparent concussion last game. More updates on Gagne's situation will be revealed as they're announced but for now, the Kings will have to make due without him.
As for the Hawks, four of their players already have over 30 points on the season. Patrick Kane has 34, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp have 37, while Marian Hossa leads the way with 40. The Kings had a strong start two nights ago against Phoenix and they’ll have to duplicate that should they hope to end their losing streak against Chicago.
The Kings have three games remaining in 2011 and they hope to win all three. But they will have their hands full tonight. Can they beat the Blackhawks? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Enjoy the game!
Photo: Courtesy of Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images