With the Los Angeles Kings sitting at 3-1 deficit every play will be especially bigger on Saturday night in Chicago. Here are five keys to a Kings victory in Game 1:
1. Quick needs to have a short memory
Jonathan Quick has had much trouble against the Chicago Blackhawks, whether it be traffic in front or just two on one situations. While it may seem ridiculous to tell arguably the best goaltender in the game today to up his game, he must in order for the low-scoring Kings to win on Saturday night. If Quick plays like he did against San Jose, they will host Game 6 back at the Staples Center.
2. Capitalize on the power play
The Kings are a dismal 1-for-14 on the power play in this series. While some of that may have to do with Mike Richards being sidelined the last two games, the big stars need to step for the Kings. Anze Kopitar only has 7 points in all 17 playoff games he has played in this season. Also while Justin Williams came up big in Game 7 against San Jose, he must come up clutch in Game 5 for the Kings to force another game.
3. Avoid over-aggression
In order for there to be a Game 6 the Kings will need to respect Chicago’s big stars but not be too conservative. Chicago wins with speed and stellar tape to tape passes so Los Angeles needs to be physical, but only when the situation calls for a check.
4. L.A. has to force more giveaways
In the Kings Game 3 win, the Kings had 4 less giveaways and 6 more takeaways, causing the Blackhawks to back check more than they would like. This disturbance by the Kings also allowed for more time spent in the offensive zone.
5. Win more faceoffs
The most important factor in determining possession is faceoffs and in the Kings Game 3 win, they won 10 more than Chicago. However in all their three losses they only have won 9 more faceoffs. This will be a very important stat to watch on Saturday.
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