The L.A. Kings can still advance to their second Stanley Cup Final in three years. But for a third consecutive series in these playoffs, it will require a Game 7.
The Kings fell 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. A win, and they would’ve punched their ticket to face the New York Rangers in the championship series. Now, they must fly back to Chicago to take on the defending Stanley Cup champs on their home turf in the United Center.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who was also sensational in the final 20 minutes, despite the loss, was defiant about the situation his team now faces. Dating back to their historic first round series win over San Jose, all three Game 7s the Kings have found themselves in during this post-season have been on the road.
“I’m frustrated, but I’m over it pretty quickly. We’ve got another game to play, Game 7,” said Doughty, as per LA Kings Insider. “We’ve had two chances to close out this series and we’re not going to blow the third one.
“Yeah, it helps and I think this is a good thing for our hockey club. I don’t think we played enough desperate hockey these last two games and I think that’s kind of why we lost both of them. It’s about time that we get to that type of game that the LA Kings play.”
L.A.’s head coach Darryl Sutter didn’t have much to say to his team about Friday’s loss. Only this one-liner, typical Darryl Sutter style.
Sutter on what he told Kings after the game: "Flight's at 11." #Blackhawks
With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.
In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.
Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.
He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.
He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.
Again, that was five years ago.
Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.
“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.
“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”
(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)
Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.
The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.
McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious
It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.