LA Kings (9-9-3) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (10-5-6!)
1:00 PST, Fox Sports Prime Ticket
Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have been attached at the hip since Kopitar came into the league. Brown gave Kopitar a steady hand to feed the puck to, while Kopitar seemed to elevate Brown's game from that of a third-line grinder to a top line power forward. Both guys owe much of their success to one another and it's hard to imagine the two of them on different lines. But is it time to break them up, just to see what happens?
Dustin Brown's game has evolved these past two seasons. Kopitar used to be the dynamic playmaker of the two, but Brown has taken it upon himself to carry the puck a lot more this season; that's good, but Kopitar has looked a little lost when he's not the one carrying the puck into the zone. It's like two best friends in middle school, but one came to high school with breasts grown over the summer. It might be better off to throw Brown with Stoll and Frolov, giving that line a guy that can finish his chances, while putting Patrick O'Sullivan and Oscar Moller with Kopitar. The latter line managed to score both goals against the Oilers on Wednesday despite not actually playing together. Sully and Moller give Kopitar 2 players that can shoot well while still keeping the puck on his stick. Brown and Kopitar have been great, but it may be time to break them up.
The Blackhawks have lost both California games (against San Jose and Anaheim) this weekend. Let's make it one more so Earl has to bust out the ol' rape graphic again.
Prediction: Kings win, 4-3. Goals by Quincey, Kopitar, Stoll and Handzus.