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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, June 1st (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Kings (3-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (3-3), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A series which once seemed firmly in the hands of the Los Angeles Kings has been stretched to the limit. Now the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks will try to complete a monumental comeback when they host the Kings in Sunday's Game 7 battle at United Center.

The Kings grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals after Monday's 5-2 home victory, but Chicago has responded with two close victories to even this best-of-seven set at three games apiece. The winner of Sunday's clash will meet the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals, after the Blueshirts eliminated Montreal in six games for the Eastern Conference title.

Chicago, winner of two of the league's last four Stanley Cup titles, first staved off elimination with a 5-4 double-overtime win Wednesday on home ice and did it again with Friday's 4-3 decision in Los Angeles. The Blackhawks hope to complete the comeback Sunday in the Windy City, where the club boasts an 8-1 record this postseason and a 19-3 mark since the start of the 2013 playoffs.

The Blackhawks also hold a 13-0 mark after Game 4 in each of the past two postseasons and is seeking another successful comeback from down 3-1 after recording the first one in franchise history last spring. Chicago lost three of the first four games in last year's conference semifinals against Detroit, but won the final three tilts and claimed Game 7 in overtime en route to winning its second Cup since 2010.

If Chicago wins Sunday's contest it will become just the second team in NHL history to overcome a 3-1 series deficit and win the conference finals. Only the 2000 New Jersey Devils, who beat Philadelphia, have overcome a 3-1 series deficit in a conference final and advanced to the fourth and final round.

The Kings, meanwhile, hope to regroup Sunday and avoid being eliminated by Chicago in the West finals for a second straight year. Los Angeles, the 2012 Cup champions, fell in five games to the Blackhawks in 2013 and appeared well on its way towards exacting revenge for that loss before the last two games.

With the Game 6 loss, L.A. became just the third team in NHL history to have its first three playoff series advance to a seventh game in one playoff year. The 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs and 2002 Colorado Avalanche previously saw each of their in-conference playoff matchups reach Game 7s, with the Leafs losing to the Kings and Avs to the Red Wings.

"We've got to win. There is no other option," Kings star defenseman Drew Doughty said of Game 7. "I think we're going to have our best effort of the series next game. All of the guys are going to step up to the plate. Our leaders are going to lead the way. Everyone else is going to follow. We're going to have our best effort."

The Kings, of course, were only the fourth team in NHL history to erase a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series when they beat San Jose in the opening round and then came back from 3-2 down to eliminate Anaheim in seven games during the conference semis. Both of L.A.'s previous Game 7 victories in this postseason also came on the road.

"We know they're a resilient group," Chicago forward Patrick Kane said after leading his team to the Game 6 triumph. "They've won two Game 7s on the road in their first two series. It's going to be a tough one. Right now we're happy we got the win, but it doesn't mean anything because we haven't won anything yet. We'll get ready for the next one and we know they'll bring the best for Game 7."

Kane, last spring's Conn Smythe winner, has been a big part of Chicago's revival in this series, recording seven points over the last two games. After notching four assists in the Game 5 victory, Kane scored two goals and added an assist on Friday.

Kane assisted on the tying goal in Game 6 and then netted the game-winning score late in the third period to force tonight's winner-take-all battle. The speedy forward had been held without a point in the first three games of this series, but has amassed eight points (2G, 6A) over the last three contests.

Ben Smith and Duncan Keith added Game 6 tallies for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford picked up the win thanks to 26 saves.

Los Angeles scored the only goal of the first period before Chicago carried a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. The Kings then grabbed a 3-2 lead with a pair of goals in the first eight minutes of the third period before the Blackhawks mounted a comeback.

"I don't think anyone lost confidence or got down after those two goals they scored in the third," Crawford said. "If anything we kept pressing even harder. Some great shots by Duncs and Kaner, some great plays, and we were able to shut then down at the end."

Kane's slick pass on the left wing found Keith at the inner edge of the circle for a successful wrister to knot the game with 8:26 showing. Kane struck once more with 3:45 left in regulation. He trailed a Brandon Saad rush on the right wing, accepted a back pass, then moved from the circle into the middle and beat Jonathan Quick with a wrister to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 edge.

"It's unbelievable, I looked at him, I think it was about a minute left, I think there was a stoppage of play and I almost started laughing," Toews said of Kane. "It's amazing what he can do in these big games, when our season is on the line and nobody else seems to be able to do it the same way he does it, it's pretty amazing."

Doughty, Dwight King and Alec Martinez scored for the Kings, while Quick stopped only 21 shots in defeat. Doughty has collected seven points (3G, 4A) in the last five games.

The loss didn't deter Doughty from adding confidently: "We've had two chances to close out this series and we're not going to blow the third one."

The Stanley Cup Finals will begin Wednesday night with the Rangers visiting the winner of Sunday's Game 7 for the first two tests of the championship round.

06/01 10:36:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd
GT 31
NCSU 40
 
4:00pm Today
LOU
UNC
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
DUKE
7:00pm Tonight
ETST
NCCU
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
IND
SAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
HOU
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
POR
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHA
9:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
PHO
Half
TENN 33
AUB 29
 
2nd
CLEM 27
BC 16
 
Half
STJOE 28
DAVID 41
 
2nd
GT 31
NCSU 40
 
2nd
PITT 46
ND 46
 
Half
STJ 44
PROV 32
 
2nd
UNH 37
USB 28
 
Half
WVU 37
TTU 31
 
2nd
TEMPL 33
TULA 8
 
Half
EMICH 31
WMICH 31
 
2nd
IOWA 43
WISC 49
 
2nd
SHU 38
XAV 37
 
1st
UF 0
ARK 2
 
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STET 0
LIP 0
 
1st
ILL 0
PSU 0
 
1st
TULSA 1
SFLA 8
 
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INDST
BRAD
 
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MAINE
GTDNS
 
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UGST
ARKST
 
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LEH
BU
 
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MARQ
BUT
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DEL
COC
 
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CREI
GEOR
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CLST
UWGB
 
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NEOM
MAST
 
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LOYC
ILLST
 
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KU
KYST
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JVU
KNST
 
2:00pm Today
MSST
LSU
2:00pm Today
SHU
MNTER
 
2:00pm Today
VCU
RICH
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ISU
TCU
2:00pm Today
BING
MLOWELL
 
2:00pm Today
HART
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
DEP
VILL
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WAKE
VT
3:00pm Today
FAM
COOK
 
3:00pm Today
NDAK
IDST
 
3:00pm Today
ARMY
GHND
 
3:00pm Today
BEL
TENT
 
3:00pm Today
TXSA
UAB
3:00pm Today
ILLCH
VALPO
 
3:05pm Today
DRAK
EVAN
 
3:15pm Today
IND
RUTG
3:30pm Today
UMO
BST
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
BRY
 
4:00pm Today
WAGN
CCST
 
4:00pm Today
GWEBB
CCAR
 
4:00pm Today
MDES
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
RFLSH
FD
 
4:00pm Today
RIU
GWU
4:00pm Today
SCAR
UGA
4:00pm Today
Terriers
LIU
 
4:00pm Today
PAC
LMU
 
4:00pm Today
STLU
UMASS
4:00pm Today
HOW
MRGST
 
4:00pm Today
DREX
UNCW
 
4:00pm Today
LOU
UNC
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
MISS
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
SOUTH
 
4:00pm Today
NIOWA
WICHS
4:00pm Today
JMU
WMARY
 
4:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
4:15pm Today
EILL
SIUE
 
4:30pm Today
UNCA
CAMP
 
4:30pm Today
MORE
EKENT
 
4:30pm Today
NICST
INCWORD
 
4:30pm Today
CMICH
OHIO
 
4:30pm Today
TEXAM
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
LAMON
SALA
 
5:00pm Tonight
UNCG
WCU
 
5:05pm Tonight
EWASH
IDAHO
 
5:30pm Tonight
SDKST
DEN
 
5:30pm Tonight
SHSU
HOUB
 
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MVSU
JST
 
5:30pm Tonight
TXST
LALAF
 
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LATU
MARS
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SD
ORU
 
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PVU
ALAAM
 
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GRAM
ARKPB
 
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PRIN
DART
 
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SCST
DELST
 
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COLST
FRES
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NORST
HAMP
 
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MINN
NEB
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WYO
NEV
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SAV
NCAT
 
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GAELS
PEPP
 
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NW
PURD
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BAY
TEX
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CHAT
CITA
 
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SMISS
WKENT
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CORN
YALE
 
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LAM
ABCHRIST
 
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BGU
AKR
 
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KENT
ALA
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CLMB
BRO
 
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LIB
CSOU
 
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BUCK
COL
 
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UVA
DUKE
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NE
ELON
 
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CHAR
FIU
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ODU
FATL
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SAMF
FUR
 
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DUQ
GMAS
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PENN
HARV
 
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LBSU
HAW
 
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BONA
LAS
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NAVY
LAF
 
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PBY
LONG
 
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WOFF
MERC
 
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NCCU
 
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MCNST
NO
 
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FLGC
NKENTUCKY
 
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IONA
PETE
 
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TAMCC
 
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UCR
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SELA
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OKST
OKLA
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UNT
RICE
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SDU
USF
 
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NMU
SJST
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PEAY
SEMIZ
 
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NILL
TOL
 
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HOF
TOWS
 
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SMU
UCF
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TENNM
 
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SDST
UTST
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MIZST
SILL
 
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TXARL
TROY
 
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TXSOU
ALAST
 
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TENST
JVST
 
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WASU
STAN
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GRCN
CHIST
 
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UTEP
MTST
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SUTAH
NARZ
 
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BYU
SCU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
TXPA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
WEBER
 
10:00pm Tonight
UNLV
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
MEM
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SEAT
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
UCSB
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
UCLA
COL
10:30pm Tonight
WLVRN
UMKC
 
1:00pm Today
MON
WAS
2:00pm Today
DET
NYI
3:00pm Today
OTT
ARI
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
WIN
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
FLA
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CHI