It wouldn’t feel right unless the Kings faced an elimination game.
Patrick Kane put another Game 7 on the Kings’ schedule by pushing the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals tonight at Staples Center.
Kane had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third period.
The two teams will play the series decider on Sunday in the United Center.
The Kings have already won six elimination games during the playoffs, rallying from a 3-0 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks and then winning Games 6 and 7 against the Ducks.
Kane made sure they had to play one more. He was scoreless through the first three games of the series, but has a goal and seven assists in the last three games.
He assisted on Duncan Keith’s goal that tied the score, 3-3, 11 minutes 34 seconds into the third period. Kane then extended the defending Stanley Cup champions season by at least one game. He skated around the Kings’ zone, th n lined up a shot that he scorched past goaltender Jonathan Quick at 16:15.
The Kings have several opportunies in the final seconds, the last by Mike Richards with five seconds left.
Dwight King, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez scored for the Kings. Ben Smith had a goal for the Blackhawks.
Quick was solid throughout the game, finishing with 21 saves. But he was under constant pressure and suffered from some defensive lapses. Quick had to make a toe save on a Marian Hossa shot only 52 seconds into the game.
The Blackhawks overwhelmed Quick in the second period.
Jonathan Toews found Kane crashing the net, a step ahead of Kings center Trevor Lewis. Kane connected on a one-timer for a power-play goal to tie the score, 1-1, only 1 minute 12 seconds into the second period.
The Blackhawks took the lead a minute later. Ben Smith took a cross-ice pass from Patrick Sharp and came in alone on Quick. He deked Quick to the ice, slid past him and banked the puck off the goaltender's skate and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
Doughty scored at 5:32 of the third period and then assisted on Martinez’s goal two mintues later. Then Kane took over.
Goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 26 of 29 shots for the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks 4, Kings 3 (3:45 left in third period)
Patrick Kane was invisible early in the series. Now there is no one Kings’ fans want to see less of tonight in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
The Chicago winger did a figure-skating routine in the Kings’ zone and then whipped a shot past goaltender Jonathan Quick to get the Blackhawks closer to a Game 7 in Chicago.
It was Kane’s 37th career playoff goal.
Kings 3, Blackhawks 3 (8:26 left in third period)
Duncan Keith answers back.
The Blackhawks defenseman glided in from the blue line and, while falling, sent a wrist shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. It was his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Kings 3, Blackhawks 2 (12:22 left in third period)
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on the attack again.
He slid to his right and sent a no-look pass into the slot, where fellow defenseman Alec Martinez was waiting. He buried a power-play goal to give the Kings the lead in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
New York on the horizon?
Kings 2, Blackhawks 2 (14:28 left in third period)
Staples Center no longer has the feel of a library.
A strong shift by the Kings ended with a Drew Doughty goal.
Doughty picked up a loose puck at the blue line, slid into the middle of the ice and whipped a wrist shot past goaltender Corey Crawford, who was partially screened by center Mike Richards.
Blackhawks 2, Kings 1 (end of second period)
A power play and a trick shot have the Kings facing a possible return trip to Chicago for a deciding Game 7 in the Western Conference finals.
Goals by Patrick Kane and Ben Smith gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 lead after two periods of Game 6 tonight at Staples Center.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has been brilliant, stopping 20 of 22 shots, but the Blackhawks took advantage of two opportunities.
Kings center Anze Kopitar was sent off for holding 20 seconds into the second period. The Blackhawks cashed it in with a power-play goal.
Chicago center Jonathan Toews found winger Patrick Kane crashing the net, a step ahead of Kings center Trevor Lewis. Kane connected on a one-timer to tie the score, 1-1, only 1 minute 12 seconds into the period.
The Blackhawks took the lead a minute later. Forward Ben Smith took a cross-ice pass from forward Patrick Sharp and came in alone on Quick. Smith deked Quick to the ice, slid past him and banked the puck off the goaltender's skate and into the net for a 2-1 lead.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford kept things that way. He stopped all 13 shots in the second period, including a point-blank try by Marian Gaborik. Crawford has stopped 20 of 21 shots, allowing only a Dwight King's goal in the first period.
Blackhawks 2, Kings 1 (17:11 left in second period)
The Blackhawks were on a rush. Ben Smith took a pass and came in on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. He deked Quick to the ice, slid past him and shot the puck backward, having it carom off the goaltender's skate and into the net.
After trailing, 1-0, entering the second period of an elimination game, the Blackhawks are on top with hopes of sending the Western Conference finals series back to Chicago for Game 7 on Sunday.
Kings 1, Blackhawks 1 (18:48 left in first period)
The Kings opened the door, with Anze Kopitar being sent off for holding.
The Blackhawks stepped through it in with a power-play goal.
Chicago center Jonathan Toews found forward Patrick Kane crashing the net, a step ahead of Kings center Trevor Lewis. Kane connected on a one-timer that gave the Blackhawks a chance to exhale in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals tonight at Staples Center.
Kings 1, Blackhawks 0 (end of first period)
A brisk first period ended with the Kings leading, 1-0, leaving the 2012 Stanley Cup champions 40 minutes from eliminating the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals.
Players from both teams went through the period seemingly more interested in giving up a limb than a goal. That resulted in aggressive pileups in front of both nets.
Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick was put on the spot early. He was required to make a toe save on a Marian Hossa shot 52 seconds into the game. Quick continued to deny shots and smother pucks as if wore Velcro on his uniform.
Veteran forward Dwight King cashed in the hard work by center Jarret Stoll to give the Kings the lead 17 minutes into the game.
Stoll beat Blackhawks players to the puck when it went behind the net and slipped a centering pass to King in the slot. King, who had missed high on a breakaway shot earlier in the period, was on target this time.
Kings 1, Blackhawks 0 (2:57 left in first period)
Dwight King gaffed a breakaway chance while being chased early in the first period, firing a shot high over the net.
Kings’ fans aren’t likely to remember that after he buried a shot from the slot to give L.A. the lead late in the first period.
Jarret Stoll outworked Blackhawks players to get the puck behind the net. His perfect centering pass found King, who was gliding in from the blue line.
Kings 0, Blackhawks 0 (4:30 left in first period)
The Kings and Blackhawks are scoreless through 15 1/2 minutes of play in Game 6 of their Western Conference finals series, with L.A. having just killed off the only penalty of the game.
Defenseman Matt Greene was sent off at 13:34 for holding Chicago forward Patrick Sharp.
The Blackhawks have a slight edge in shots on goal, 8-7. The Kings, as per usual, lead in hits (14-5) and faceoffs won (9-6).
Coach Joel Quenneville shuffles the Blackhawks' lineup, adding defenseman Sheldon Brookbank while removing forward Kris Versteeg.
Chicago will have seven defensemen to rotate onto the ice in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the Kings tonight at Staples Center.
The Kings have embraced the 1973 power ballad "Dream On" as part of their catchy pregame video for home playoff games. A little Aerosmith, a few old Drew Doughty clips of the Kings' defenseman as a youngster and some other shots of the Kings players when they were kiddies.
It all adds up to a fun package.
When Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville sat down with the media for a brief session in a small room off the corridor a few hours before Game 6 of the Western Conference finals at Staples Center, the sounds of "Dream On" were wafting through the arena. Someone pointed it out and asked him if he had a big speech prepared.
"I'd have to dream on a little bit longer before I get out there," he said, looking amused and causing laughter.
"Anyway, it’s obviously a huge game for everybody. Everybody’s excited about it. Let’s play the right way."
He would not speculate if struggling Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg would be in the lineup for Game 6.
The Kings lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two. Game 7, if necessary, would be on Sunday in Chicago.
"They’re a real good hockey team," Quenneville said of the Kings. "Give them credit. They can score goals. They’ve got spread out on offense and a very active D. They can score on any shift at any time. But I still think we’ve got to take care of the front of our net. We’ve got to take care of cleaning up goals that are preventable. I think that’s what’s hurt us in this series."
Said Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp: "Momentum’s big in the playoffs -- whether it’s game to game or within a singular game. You see it in all the series that have gone on so far, whether it’s teams coming back 3-0 like the Kings" in a series.
--Lisa DillmanCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times