Blackhawks-Kings Preview

The Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks couldn't get the best of one offensively challenged opponent, but might have a good chance to rebound against another.

Attempting to do so Monday night, the visiting Blackhawks hope to continue their success over a Los Angeles Kings team looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.

Brandon Saad recorded his third goal in two games Saturday, but Corey Crawford failed to make a save in the shootout after stopping 38 shots as Chicago (33-10-14) fell to 1-0-2 on its seven-game road stretch with a 2-1 loss at San Jose.

Though the Blackhawks have totaled a league-high 200 goals, they've been held to one three times during their current 1-2-2 stretch. They failed to beat a San Jose club that snapped a three-game skid while scoring its second non-shootout goal in four games.

"I don't think we played a good team game," said Saad, who has five points in three games. "In the end you want to get two points."

The Blackhawks are 5-14 after regulation, with none of those victories coming in overtime.

"We've been doing some good things 5 on 5, it's disappointing," coach Joel Quenneville said.

Though the Blackhawks allowed a short-handed goal in the third period Saturday, they rebounded with Saad's power-play score. Chicago is 3 for 7 with the man-advantage in the last two games after going 3 for 33 in the previous 12 contests.

''It was a playoff type atmosphere," said forward Kris Versteeg, who has an assist in three straight games. "Time and space was non-existent and that's when you need to play smart. There's a lot of positives from (Saturday's) game. Be ready for L.A."

Including last season's Western Conference finals, Chicago has won four straight and eight of 10 against the Kings (30-21-6).

Backup Antti Raanta has stopped 47 of 48 shots while the Blackhawks have outscored Los Angeles 4-1 in winning both previous meetings this season. The rookie posted his first career shutout with 26 saves, and Saad scored in a 1-0 home victory over the Kings on Dec. 30.

Los Angeles has been shut out three times in its last five games and six times overall. It recorded 35 shots and allowed 13 during Saturday's 2-0 home loss to Philadelphia.

The Kings have scored 10 goals while losing eight of nine, been held to one or none in six straight, and two or less 16 times during a 5-13-2 stretch.

"I'm pretty frustrated, but like I said, you've got to get over it," defenseman Drew Doughty told the NHL's official website.

"You've got to get past it. This can make us stronger. Going through this little slip, it seems like it happens every year with the Kings at some point. We're going turn this thing around and we're going to go the other way with it and become better from it."

If so, they'll likely need their top players to start producing.

Mike Richards is second on the team with 35 points, but none in his last six games. He's also been shut out in his three games versus Chicago at Staples Center.

Jeff Carter has a team-leading 20 goals, but none in six contests following a four-game goal streak. He's been held without a point in five straight regular-season games against the Blackhawks.

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