The defending Stanley Cup champions are in real danger of not making it back to the final.
The L.A. Kings lost Game 4 of the Western Conference final to the Chicago Blackhawks by a final score of 3-2, and now trail in the best-of-seven series 3-1.
They now face elimination, and must beat the 2013 Presidents’ Trophy winners three straight times to win this series.
Bryan Bickell just continues to put the puck in the net. He fluttered a wrist shot past Jonathan Quick in the first period for his eighth goal of these playoffs. Oh yeah, he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer. In line for a big raise.
Patrick Kane scored his first goal of this series, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Kane’s goal at 18:21 of the second period got the Blackhawks even with the Kings at two-goals apiece.
Marian Hossa scored the winner at 1:10 of the third period.
Only twice in these playoffs have the Kings scored four goals in a game. Perhaps they just don’t have the fire power to win this series.
Worst of all, the Kings had just one shot on goal through more than 18 minutes of the third period. Goals can be especially hard to come by if you don’t get shots on net.
Corey Crawford made a poke check save off Justin Williams, who had a clean breakaway on the Blackhawks goalie early in the second period. The save came just after the Kings took a one-goal lead, and kept Chicago close, allowing Kane to score the equalizer.
The Kings had won eight straight on home ice in these playoffs, prior to tonight. That streak is over.
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.