PREVIEW: LA Kings in Chicago to face old foe Blackhawks (5p, FOX Sports West)
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Los Angeles (31-22-5) is much closer to the top eight playoff seeds in the Western Conference but also finds itself on the outside looking in with 24 games to play in the regular season. The Kings are 17-13-2 on the road.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick likely will make his 45th start of the season. He is 22-21-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. In 27 career games against the Blackhawks, he is 11-15-1 with a 2.65 GAA and .912 save percentage.
Chicago (25-26-8) is coming off a resounding 7-1 win over the Washington Capitals that marked the team's first victory in February. The Blackhawks improved to 13-13-3 at home and finished with their third-most goals of the season.
Blackhawks goaltender Anton Forsberg likely will start opposite Quick. Forsberg has served as the primary starter since Chicago's top netminder Corey Crawford went down because of an upper-body injury.
In 22 games this season, Forsberg is 6-11-3 with a 2.95 GAA and .908 save percentage. He lost four games in a row before making 19 of 20 saves against the high-powered Capitals. He has faced the Kings only once in his career, stopping 21 of 22 shots but taking a hard-fought loss.
Chicago is led in scoring by Patrick Kane, who has 55 points (22 goals, 33 assists) in 59 games. Rookie Alex DeBrincat is tied with Kane with 22 goals. Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews are tied with 40 points apiece.
The Kings are led by Anze Kopitar, who has 63 points (25 goals, 38 assists) in 58 games. Drew Doughty is next with 41 points (eight goals, 31 assists) and Dustin Brown is third on the team with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists).
The Kings are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon that snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I thought the start of the game was different and was a big reason we won the game," Kings coach John Stevens said to the team's official website. "I thought we did a lot of good things. It wasn't just the first line, I thought we had a really good rotation through our lineup where guys were really playing fast, we got pucks up to speed, and we were getting pucks in behind."
This marks the second of three meetings during the regular season. The Kings won the initial matchup 3-1 on Dec. 3 at the United Center. The final meeting will be March 3 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.