Stanley Cup Stories: Blackhawks in driver's seat
Chicago has commanding 3-1 series lead on L.A.
All the pieces are falling into place for the Chicago Blackhawks after a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference final. This and more in the top NHL playoff stories from Thursday:
1. Home is suddenly not so sweet for the Los Angeles Kings, and now they have to shake their playoff road struggles to stay alive. The Chicago Blackhawks snapped the Kings' 15-game home winning streak with a 3-2 win in Game 4. Bryan Bickell scored again for the Hawks, Marian Hossa had the eventual game winner early in the third period, and Patrick Kane owed his goal to sushi. When the series returns to Chicago on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET), the Blackhawks have a chance to bounce the defending champs, who have dropped seven of their eight games away from the Staples Center.
2. Rather than dwelling on losing Gregory Campbell to a broken leg for the rest of the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are determined to close out the Pittsburgh Penguins for their injured teammate Friday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET). Campbell, who earned a reputation for his shot-blocking prowess in Game 3, broke his right fibula when struck by an Evgeni Malkin slap shot. CBCSports.ca senior hockey scribe Tim Wharnsby writes the Bruins, including linemate Shawn Thornton, have the utmost respect for Campbell. "That's the type of player he is. He sacrifices is body, not just in the playoffs, that's how he is all the time. He will be missed," Thornton said.
3. Don't get the wrong idea about Jaromir Jagr, writes Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman. The 41-year-old Bruins winger has a workout routine that, at first, even his gym couldn't keep up with. He played 15:43 in regulation in Game 3, but wanted more hockey to play (he got it his wish, as the B's defeated the Pens 2-1 in double overtime Wednesday). John Dellapina, who wrote for a New York paper when Jagr was a Ranger, had this to say about the speedy Czech: "I hated the way he was portrayed as a prima donna; he works his ass off."