Battle of the Worst in the West: Chicago at Los Angeles Print
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Thursday, 01 February 2007 13:00
NHL Headline News

NHL Hockey: Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings - Kings Favored

Team Page: Chicago :: Los Angeles

58% of Bets Placed on Los Angeles -135 | Matchup | Goalies
The teams with the worst records in the Western Conference meet Thursday when the Chicago Blackhawks open a season-high seven-game road trip against the Los Angeles Kings.

Chicago (18-25-7) snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win over Calgary on Sunday, two days before Los Angeles (17-30-6) fell 4-1 to the Flames for its ninth defeat in 10 games.

Oddsmakers have made Los Angeles -125 money line (NHL Odds)

favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

The slides have dropped the clubs to the bottom of the conference standings, with the Blackhawks holding a three-point edge over the Kings.

Chicago hopes it can build on Sunday's victory and avoid a fourth straight loss in Los Angeles. The Blackhawks have not won consecutive games since Dec. 16-17.

Denis Arkhipov had a power-play goal at 2:53 of overtime Sunday after scoring the tying goal with 44 seconds left in regulation for Chicago.

"It's a big win for us," said Arkhipov, who has eight goals with the Blackhawks after having only nine in 72 games last season for Nashville. "It's a special feeling."

Chicago coach Denis Savard appeared emotional after the team's first win since Jan. 2 at St. Louis.

"Some nights, no luck," Savard said. "Finally we got a little luck, but we earned it big time, big time.

"There's a bunch of good men in that room and... I'm proud of them."

The Blackhawks, who play nine of their next 10 contests away from Chicago, hope to carry some momentum on their extended trip. They have dropped three straight road games are 7-14-4 overall away from home for the second-fewest road points in the conference (18), ahead of only Los Angeles (12).

Chicago will not play at home again until Feb. 16 against Vancouver.

This is the first matchup of the season between these clubs, with the final three taking place in March. The Blackhawks have lost five of the last six meetings overall, and haven't won at Staples Center since Oct. 25, 2003.

Los Angeles looks to avoid matching a season high with its fifth straight home loss. The team has scored only six goals in its last four home games, failing to convert on any of its 21 power-play opportunities.

Michael Cammalleri did get a power-play goal in Tuesday's loss, but former Kings center Craig Conroy netted a pair in his first game with Calgary since being traded Monday for Jamie Lundmark and two draft picks.

"Obviously, we didn't want that to happen," Cammalleri said. "The guys that know him, and we have a pretty personal relationship with Connie, we'd be happy for him if he did it against somebody else, but we don't want him doing that against us."

Los Angeles tries to rebound Thursday before starting a season-high five-game road trip at Florida on Saturday.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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