Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:

Game 40 @ Chicago

December 19, 2013

5pm PST (8pm EST)

After suffering back-to-back regulation losses for the first time since the opening week of the season, the Los Angeles Kings hope to get back to their winning ways. But it won’t be easy as they travel to the unfriendly confides of the United Center to take on the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.

This marks the second of three meetings between the last two Stanley Cup winners with the most recent winner drawing first blood just 15 days earlier.

On December 15, the Kings visited the Windy City where they lost 3-1. En route to said loss, Ben Scrivens struggled in the early going surrendering all three goals in the first period. While Alec Martinez was able to snap Antti Raanta’s shutout bid late, the Kings knew they were simply outplayed on both sides of the puck. They hope to change their fortunes in a big way on Monday.

While they found themselves on the short end of an exciting shootout in St. Louis on Saturday, the Blackhawks are showing no signs of slowing down. At 27-7-7, they are the league’s best team and can easily have their way with their opponents should the silver-and-black continue their lack of discipline and mediocre defense and questionable line-changing which was especially evident last game in Nashville.

Given their recent struggles against Chicago, few in the Kingdom are feeling very optimistic about Los Angeles’s chances in the Madhouse. Then again, the Kings do seem to play much better against playoff teams – and a win on Monday will certainly do wonders for the team’s (and the fanbase’s) morale. But one step at a time. Let’s drop the puck and see what happens.

Enjoy the game!