Plenty of Positives for Kings Despite Losing Game 1 to Chicago in Western Final

The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are the last two teams standing in the Western Conference for a reason. Both squads play skin-tight brands of hockey, and that was on full display throughout Game 1—a contest that the defending Stanley Cup champions won, 3-1.

This was a matinee that could have gone either way, though. While the 'Hawks came away with their seventh straight victory on home ice in these playoffs, Los Angeles should be pleased with its overall performance. This is a series that is going to be determined by little things, and Chicago came out on top after 60 minutes this time.

Game 2 could be different, especially if the Kings continue to play like they did in the opening contest. Following a controversial no-goal call against the 'Hawks in the second period, L.A. sprang to life and really started to take the game to Chicago. It's that tape that head coach Darryl Sutter should replay for his troops as they rally and regroup for their chance to make this a 1-1 series on Wednesday.


Los Angeles' Best Players Performed Up to Expectations

The 2013-14 NHL playoffs have been defined by All-World players failing to deliver when the games matter the most. Sidney Crosby has taken a lot of heat following the Pittsburgh Penguins' exit, and Rick Nash has been under fire throughout the postseason for not scoring with any sort of frequency.

The Kings aren't having any issues with their top players. Only Tyler Toffoli managed to beat Corey Crawford in Game 1, but L.A. received a ton of chances from its other high-end players. 

That's the kind of shot output that will make a difference across a seven-game series. Chicago had issues with Jeff Carter's line in particular, and that trio came within a breath of scoring on a handful of occasions. They held onto the puck and made things happen in the offensive zone at a high rate.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Kings