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Blackhawks Look to Build 3-0 Series Lead Against Kings

The Chicago Blackhawks look to build a 3-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings tonight in L.A. The Kings are used to playing from behind, but the Blackhawks have shown that they can blitz just about anyone in the team offensively and run them off the ice.

“We’ve been here, what, three weeks ago?” L.A.’s Justin Williams said. “Obviously it’s not do-or-die (in Game 3), but it is.”

The Blackhawks barely escaped the first round of the playoffs after falling behind 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings. However, everything seems to be clicking for the regular season’s best team as they head into a crucial Game 3 in the Western Conference Finals tonight.

“We went through a little spurt there in the last series where we were doing the right things but the pucks weren’t going in,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “So now we’re getting the results we want. We can do what we’re doing more often. We can do it better as well in the next few games.”

The defending Stanley Cup Champions struggled mightily on the road this season, though they were sensational on their home ice, posting a 19-4-1 record. They’ll need to recapture a bit of that home cooking if they’re going to keep this series interesting. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks aren’t taking any chances; they know the Kings have fought back and won in worse situations than this.

“Home ice is something we’ve been able to rely on, and have in our back pocket,” Williams said. “I’m (also) not sure why we went 10-1 on the road last year (in the playoffs). Certainly our confidence is high for us coming back home. There’s been a lot of success there. We’ve won every which way there, and it’s going to have to continue.”

“You look back at the St. Louis series, (and) they were up 2-0 coming to L.A.,” Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “We’ve got to continue to focus on the game (Tuesday) night. They’re a great team, L.A. Quick is a great goaltender. We understand he’s going to come back with a better game than he did last night. We have to continue to get pucks to him and make it tough on him.”

However, for as powerful as the Kings’ home ice advantage is, Chicago may be one of the few teams in the league that is immune. They defeated the Kings 5-2 on their home ice the first game of the season and never looked back.

“It’s been a long time since we played here, and it was a special day when we began the season here for them,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. “There’s some buildings in this league that can get real loud, get the crowd into it, and the team feeds off of that. I think there’s more success this year on the home team’s side in the playoffs. Hopefully we can get off to a great start and quiet it as best you can. It’s tough on visiting teams trying to do that this year.”

All in all, I think the Kings come away with a big (and necessary) win tonight. They’re too good at home, and too strong defensively, to drop one there.

Here are some other betting trends for both teams heading into tonight’s pivotal Game 3, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

Chicago Blackhawks Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Los Angeles are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

Los Angeles Kings Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 7-3
Before playing Dallas are 5-5
After playing Chicago are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

A few Blackhawks at Kings trends to consider:
Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Chicago is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Chicago’s last 11 games on the road
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Los Angeles
Los Angeles is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Los Angeles’ last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles’ last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles’ last 7 games when playing at home against Chicago


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