Patrick Kane has been off-target in the Western Conference finals; Chicago’s high-scoring forward has been reduced to just one assist after four games.
He missed the mark again Wednesday, contending that even though his team trails the series three games to one and faces elimination Wednesday night at United Center in Game 5, there’s more pressure on the Kings.
“Right now I feel the pressure is all on them,” Kane said. “Obviously, being up in a 3-1 position, you never want to lose that in a series. We have a great opportunity tonight, playing in front of our home fans, to get another win and that’s all we’re looking at right now. We don’t feel any pressure in here and if there is any pressure, it’s probably all on the Kings.”
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville agreed the pressure is “on L.A.”
A big part of the Blackhawks’ reasoning is linked to their rally from a 3-1 deficit in beating the Detroit Red Wings in seven games last year in the Western Conference semifinals.
“You look back against Detroit, we came in here, excited to be home, take advantage of the home crowd,” Quenneville said. “I don’t want to say loose, but let’s be excited about the opportunity. You’ve only got to win one game here.”
One here, one at Staples Center on Friday, and another back in Chicago on Sunday.
It’s a heavy task, considering the Kings have outscored the Blackhawks 15-5 since the second period of Game 2 in United Center, with five power-play goals while dominating in face-offs and blocked shots.
“It’s another challenge, the funnest moments are getting up for these kinds of games,” Kane said. “To get ourselves out of it, we welcome that challenge. No one feels down and out. We feel confident.”
Kane said he’s aware he “can generate more,” after contributing 29 goals and 40 assists during the regular season.
Quenneville in Wednesday’s morning skate shifted him from the first line centered by Jonathan Toews to the second line with Brandon Saad and center Andrew Shaw.
“No matter what the lines are, we have to realize we have a really good hockey team, a team that’s played in desperate situations and overcome a lot of adversity,” Kane said. “We were down 2-0 this year to a great St. Louis team, too.
“We know it’s a different beast with the Kings, that they seem to close it out when they have momentum. But we’ll try to get that momentum back and keep it as long as possible.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times