Chicago (26-12-8) at Los Angeles (19-20-7) 10:30 p.m. EST
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- gIt's taken nearly four months, but the
Los Angeles Kings' offense has finally begun to show signs of
life. And it's a good thing, too, because the Kings are about
to face one of the stingiest defenses in the NHL.
Riding a rare two-game winning streak, Los Angeles returns home
Thursday to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. The second-lowest
scoring team in the Western Conference this season, the Kings
are coming off a pair of strong performances in road victories
over Minnesota and Colorado just before the All-Star Break.
They scored three second-period goals on January 20 en route to
a 5-2 triumph over the Wild, then followed that up a day later
with a 6-5 squeaker over the Avalanche. The Kings scored five
tallies in the second stanza, including a pair by left wing
Alexander Frolov, but had to sweat it out as Colorado nearly
erased a four-goal deficit before falling just short.
The 11 goals the Kings scored between the two contests were the
most they have posted in any two-game span this season. Oddly
enough, that came on the heels of a four-game span in which they
were outscored, 15-4.
As they get set to face the Blackhawks - who have allowed just
116 goals, fourth-fewest in the league - the Kings have to hope
they can carry over their recent momentum after eight days off.
The Blackhawks, still grappling for position in the top half of
the West's playoff picture, rebounded from a two-game skid on
Wednesday with a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Nikolai
Khabibulin made 36 saves, including 15 in the second period, to
help put an end to Chicago's brief losing streak.