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Kings Vs Blackhawks Staples Center
This year's Western Conference finals will feature a rematch of last year's finals as the Los Angeles Kings square off with the Chicago Blackhawks. Between them the two clubs have won three of the last four Stanley Cup titles, with the Blackhawks taking home the cup last season. The Kings reached their third straight Western Conference finals when they defeated the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Chicago, who will have five days rest prior to Sunday's opening game, defeated the Minnesota Wild in six games to reach the finals.
Last season the Blackhawks defeated the Kings in five games behind a stifling defense and a solid performance from goaltender Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks victory over the Kings ended the Kings streak of five consecutive playoff series victories, starting with the Kings run to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title in 2012. This postseason the Kings have once again proved their mettle in series deciding games with six victories in elimination games in the opening two rounds. Los Angeles opened the playoffs by becoming just the third team in postseason history to come back from a 3-0 deficit when they rallied back to defeat the San Jose Sharks. In the second round the Kings rallied back from 3-2 deficit to defeat Anaheim in the Freeway Faceoff between the two Southern California teams.
If the Kings are going to defeat Chicago they'll have to turn around recent history. The Blackhawks have won 9 of the past 11 meetings between the two teams and the Kings were winless versus Chicago in the regular season. Playing Chicago on just one days rest may be a positive for the Kings in their attempt to take one of the first two games on the road at the United Center. Los Angeles has had a propensity to win on the road this postseason, winning five of eight games away from STAPLES Center.
After two games in Chicago the series turns to Los Angeles for games three and four Wednesday and Saturday at STAPLES Center.