Astoria, NY – The Los Angeles Kings couldn’t hold serve at home last night, as the Chicago Blackhawks exerted their will on the road like they’ve done so often this postseason. The Hawks will take a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals back to Chicago as they look to eliminate the Kings on Saturday.
That being said, last night’s game was as entertaining as any other game from the 2013 NHL playoffs. The action was fast-paced, end-to-end and nonstop; at this point, I feel like a broken record to keep touting the high quality of the postseason, but it’s worth mentioning.
Don’t worry; this is not a recording.
The Boston Bruins will go for a sweep of the Eastern Conference’s top-seeded team, the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at TD Garden in Game 4 of their series. So far, the Bruins have been able to push the Penguins around and establish the kind of grinding, physical game the Boston faithful have come to expect from their team.
While the Penguins have spent much of their ice time complaining to the referees, the Bruins have kept on piling up the goals.
If Pittsburgh wants to climb back into the series, they’ll need to focus on the game rather than the officiating. Boston, on the other hand, doesn’t need to change a thing in order to get the victory tonight.
No matter the outcome, tonight will provide hockey fans with another example of why the NHL postseason is the best postseason in all of sports. I’ll be tuned in; will you be?
Oh let’s be serious. Of course you will.
Henrik Lundqvist to the Islanders? Is That Possible? What If?! (Eyes On Isles)
Summer Report Card: Matt Carkner (Eyes On Isles)
NHL CBA: College Loophole Clarified; Anders Lee’s ELC (Lighthouse Hockey)
Quick Hits: Duncan Keith’s Slash, Mark Streit UFA, Dallas Stars’ New Look (Too Many Men on the Site)
Floating Around The Twitter-Sphere
“Nobody is giving up in here,” says Iginla. #NHL
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) June 6, 2013
…said Iginla, while mistakenly standing in the Boston Bruins locker room.
Scariest. Sight. Ever. (Grabs in a Vancouver Canucks jersey, that is.)
— Kyle Vande Hei (@kvandehei33) June 6, 2013
No apologies necessary, Kyle. You weren’t the only one looking forward to the Western Conference finals last night. The NHL is enjoying record TV ratings this postseason, even in the fallout of a lockout-shortened regular season. Apparently the fans are willing to forgive and forget, so long as the games are as exciting as they have been so far.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Season In Review video I made last week youtube.com/watch?v=4pcjNd…
— Isles Nation (@NYIslesNation) June 6, 2013
Because it’s almost been a month since we last saw the Islanders play, here’s a video tribute to their season as created by @NYIslesNation. Well worth five-or-so minutes of your day, unless you’ve already watched it 19 times – and even then, it’s worth another click. (Disclaimer: explicit language)
Last Night In The NHL
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings (CHI leads 3-1)
The top-seeded Blackhawks took a 3-1 series lead over the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings last night, winning Game 4 by a score of 3-2.
Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored goals less than three minutes of game time apart to give the Blackhawks a lead they would not relinquish. Kane’s goal came at 18:21 of the second period with Chicago trailing 2-1, as he swept in a deflected shot that had trickled past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Hossa followed up at 1:10 of the third with a wicked snap shot from the near-side faceoff circle off a feed from Michal Handzus.
Los Angeles couldn’t muster a third period comeback like they had done against the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks in previous series. Chicago controlled the pace of play early in the third period, something the Kings had done well against the Blackhawks in Game 3. While Los Angeles couldn’t establish offensive zone time coming out of the second intermission, Chicago took advantage of a poor Kings line change to score their third goal.
The Kings, so used to dominating at home over the past two-plus months were handed their first loss at Staples Center since a 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Mar. 23.
Slava Voynov and Dustin Penner were the goal scorers for Los Angeles. Bryan Bickell continued his assault on opposing goalies – and some unsuspecting team owner’s checkbook this offseason – by scoring his eighth goal of the playoffs. He also added an assist on Kane’s goal.
Game 5 will be played at United Center in Chicago on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Blackhawks vs. Kings game highlights…
As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL playoff coverage and Isles offseason news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.