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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NHL Playoffs Start Time, Odds Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings Game 4

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It's Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals tonight as the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Los Angels Kings. Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Kings favored to even the series.

Los Angeles can continue their perfection on home ice tonight with a win to even the series. They played well in Game 3 and were able to pick up a 3-1 win that got them back in the series. Chicago dominated the first two games of conference finals but LA knew they had a chance to even it up back at home. If they are able to do that tonight, Game 5 is going to be critical for both squads. Yet if the Hawks are able to grind out a win on the West Coast tonight this series is pretty much over.

Duncan Keith will sit out Thursday under a one-game suspension for high-sticking Los Angeles' Jeff Carter. He's lucky he's only getting a single game suspension. Carter received 20 stitches and had three of his teeth smashed up. Keith is a major player for the Blackhawks, spending more time on the ice than anybody, manning the point on the power play and sitting at third in points for Chicago with 10 points. He's a dirty player and one of the guys that winning teams want on the ice because he's an enforcer that isn't afraid to mix things up.

Jonathan Quick is a great example of a goalie playing excellent and his team winning or playing poorly and his team losing. He was dynamite again on Tuesday night and got his team going in the right direction.

LA has to get better offensively, though. Carter and Justin Williams have six goals apiece in Los Angeles' 16 playoff games, but nobody else has more than defenseman Slava Voynov's five goals. In the series against Chicago they have six goals in three games, but if they are only scoring two goals per game, Quick will have to play extremely well in each period to keep the Kings hanging around in the game. But then again, with two very good goalies and two very good defensive teams, most of the games are going to be low-scoring.

Corey Crawford has an impressive 1.70 goals against for the Blackhawks to this point. He's saving better than 93 percent of the shots he has faced to this point, which isn't as much as Quick, but the Blackhawks currently have the upper hand.

Look for the Kings to continue to press Crawford in this game. Neither one of these offense is scoring with the ease of the Boston Bruins from the Eastern Conference Finals, but both goalies in this series are a lot better than what the Pittsburgh Penguins are running out there every night. We like the Kings to win this game, having not lost at home during these NHL Playoffs.

Free Pick: Kings 3, Blackhawks 1

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  • Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

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