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Five reasons why everything’s cool for Blackhawks vs. Kings in Game 5

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 28: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks holds the Stanley Cup Trophy during the Blackhawks Victory Parade and Rally on June 28, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joel Quenneville

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Wednesday night, trailing 3-1 in the series and facing elimination.

But you know what? Everything’s cool.

Here are five reasons why …

1. It’s At Home, And Everything’s Cool

How many times have the Chicago Blackhawks lost at United Center in the last two postseasons? Three times, including their Game 2 loss to the Kings.

They’ve scored 27 goals at home this postseason and allowed 15 in eight games; on the road, they’ve scored just 18 and given up 28.

Which also speaks volumes about Corey Crawford’s effectiveness, home and away. Less hecklers in Chicago, obviously.

2. It’s Game 5, And Everything’s Cool

The Blackhawks are 9-0 in their last nine Game 5’s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Seven of the wins came at home, and two on the road. They’ve outscored their opponents 33-14 in those games. Three of the victories came when the Hawks were down 1-3 in a series.

3. Coach Q Juggled The Lines, And Everything’s Cool

Patrick Kane is having the Series From Hell right now, with one assist in four games. Coach Joel Quenneville has him on a line with Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw in Game 5.

“I thought Saad and Shawsy last game were effective. Kaner can add to the mix there. I thought they had a good couple of periods there, generated some zone time and chances and score nice goals as well,” he said. 

He also popped Jonathan Toews back on a line with Marian Hossa.

4. Stay Out Of The Box, And Everything’s Cool

The Kings are five for their last 10 on the power play, which is pretty good as those things go. They’ve scored a power play goal in each of their last three games, which were all victories. They didn’t score one in Game 1, which is the only win the Hawks have in the series.

There isn’t a big penalty disparity in the series – the Kings have 15 minors, the Hawks have 14 minors – but Chicago would do well not to give LA any chances on the man advantage if they can.

5. Win A Faceoff Or Two, And Everything’s Cool

From NHL.com, tails of woe from the faceoff circle:

Los Angeles has won 137 of 246 draws through the first four games (55.7 percent) and the Kings dominated that area in Games 2 and 4, winning by scores of 6-2 on May 21 at United Center and 5-2 on Monday at Staples Center.

After splitting faceoffs evenly in Game 1 (31-31), Los Angeles won 61 percent in Game 2 and 58 percent in Game 4. The Blackhawks hope getting back on home ice, where the visiting player is supposed to have his stick down first, helps them win faceoffs more often Wednesday.

Toews on faceoffs in these three losses? He’s 29 for 78. Ouch.

Perhaps some luck in the dot will lead to a trip back to LA for Game 6.

 

 

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