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Kings Vs. Blackhawks Preview: Los Angeles Returns Home Looking For A Win

The Los Angeles Kings have had a rough February. They're hoping they can turn things around with a win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday evening.

Feb 22 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) stands on the bench after being pulled before the start of the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 22 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) stands on the bench after being pulled before the start of the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

February has not gone the way that the Los Angeles Kings had hoped. They entered the month breathing down the neck of the San Jose Sharks for the top spot in the Pacific Division, but have now won just three games since Feb. 1 and have slid all the way down to fourth place. While Sharks goalie Antti Niemi has been letting in every other puck that soars in his direction, the Phoenix Coyotes have streaked their way into a tie atop the division. While the Dallas Stars have kept pace by merely playing competent hockey, the Kings have watched their offense entirely dry up and disappear.

In spite of all of this, the Kings remain just five points out of first place as of Saturday. Not only that, they're currently just a couple of points below the cutoff line for a Western Conference playoff berth. They'll be hoping to right the ship on Saturday evening and pick up a win against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks have also been struggling in the past couple of weeks. Although they're still very much in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, they have gone just 4-6-0 over their last 10 games. A big home win is exactly what the Kings could use right now. They'll have reinforcements tonight, as they acquired center Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a trade on Thursday. They're hoping that Carter can provide a boost to one of the very worst offenses in the NHL.

Saturday's game begins at 5:00 p.m. PT and will be televised on FS-W. You can also listen to the play-by-play on KTLK 1150 AM.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Kings, please visit Jewels From the Crown.