Blackhawks vs. Kings, Game 4: Los Angeles home-winning streak ends, will season go with it?

Harry How

The Los Angeles Kings' home loss to the Chicago Blackhawks could be a substantial blow to their title defense.

Prior to Thursday night, the Los Angeles Kings were undefeated at home during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. After their Game 4 loss in the Western Conference Final to the Chicago Blackhawks, that is no longer the case. The loss ended a 15-game home-winning streak for the Kings, which spanned all the way back to April 4.

More importantly, however, is that the end of the winning-streak also brought with it a two-game series deficit, which could prove catastrophic heading back to Chicago for an elimination game.

While the Kings boasted an immaculate standing on home ice, the team's performance on the road this postseason has been just as polarizing. Los Angeles has lost five-consecutive road games heading into Saturday night's Game 5 and have a cumulative road record of 1-7 in the postseason. Those troubles also existed during the regular season, as the defending Stanley Cup champions posted an 8-12-4 record away from home ice, which paled in comparison to the 19-4-1 record they accumulated on it.

Since March 31, the team has won only two road games. Now, they will have to win that same total consecutively over the span of five days. This obviously creates a difficult situation for the Kings. Turning around a 2-13 road record (dating back to March 31) in such a short period of time seems improbable. Especially considering the Blackhawks were at a huge disadvantage in Game 4 given the suspension to defenseman Duncan Keith. Now, Keith will be available for Game 5 and the Kings will be facing the prospect of having to win on the road against a team who was 18-3-3 at home during the regular season and 8-1 during the postseason.

Not an ideal situation for the reigning champions to continue their defense of the crown.

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