CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02: Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings checks Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks near the side boards in the first period of Game Two of the Western Conference Final during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on June 2, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Playoffs Tonight: Kings aim to defend home vs ‘Hawks

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The Boston Bruins have crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first two games. At the pace we’re going, we’re in for a Boston-Chicago finals, but of course, there’s still plenty of hockey left to play in the Conference finals and we might be in for some comebacks.

Los Angeles Kings host Chicago Blackhawks (9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Chicago leads 2-0

After narrowly winning Game 1, the Chicago Blackhawks took things a step further on Sunday by establishing a big lead early and forcing the Kings to yank goaltender Jonathan Quick.

“I haven’t done my job on the road,” Quick admitted.

The Kings will eventually need to deal with their road woes if they are going to make it to the Stanley Cup finals, but for now they have more urgent matters. Los Angeles is a perfect 7-0 at home in the postseason and the team can’t afford to let that streak end now.

“It’s a lot different playing away from the United Center,” Chicago’s Patrick Sharp told CSN Chicago. “I feel like we’ve been solid on the road the last couple years in the playoffs. The team gets home for that first game, the crowd’s into it, it kind of gives that extra push. We expect L.A. to be good at home. Obviously their record speaks for itself.”

From the Kings perspective, it helps that they’ve already proven that they can come back from a 2-0 deficit. They were in the same situation against the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the 2013 playoffs and responded by winning their next four contests.

“The only difference is we’re in the Western Conference Finals now,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said, according to LA Kings Insider. “With each round there’s a little more pressure. It’s a matter of handling that individually and collectively. We’re back on home ice where we’ve played very well this year.”

The big question mark going into this game in Los Angeles forward Mike Richards. He was a late scratch in Game 2 because of “symptoms” after absorbing a huge hit from Dave Bolland. If Richards is out for any extended period of time, it’s obviously a serious blow, especially given how much trouble the Kings have had scoring goals in the playoffs.

Either way, the Kings have to win, or they’ll find themselves in a position where they’ll need to pull off a historic comeback to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.