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updated: 5/27/2014 10:28 PM

Blackhawks' special teams? Not so special

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By Brian Hedger
Special to the Daily Herald

The Blackhawks proved last season that a team can win the Stanley Cup with an ineffective power play, but now their penalty kill also is failing and they're on the verge of elimination.

If they're unable to climb out of a 3-1 hole in the Western Conference finals against the Kings, the Hawks will look back at their special teams.

After leading the NHL in the first two rounds with a 91.3 percent success rate killing off power plays, the Hawks have thwarted just five of the Kings' 10 power plays -- including 2 goals allowed in the first period of Game 4 on Monday in Los Angeles.

"They've made a couple of nice shots," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday. "They've gotten some looks here, and we've got to recognize when there's a chance to be aggressive and make it a little more disruptive for them."

Offensively, the Hawks need to figure out a way to get their own power play set up in the Kings' zone.

"We've got to get stuff at the net, and I think that's the biggest key," Brent Seabrook said. "We haven't had a lot of shots in the series on our power play, especially on the road.

"We've got to come in with better possession, and if we're not being able to cross the line, we've got to do different things to be able to get possession and try to get good looks."

Q 'fine' with puck retrieval:

The Hawks appeared to struggle in puck possession for the past three games, particularly when they chipped the puck into the offensive zone.

Joel Quenneville's not buying it.

He also disagrees with the notion that Hawks players would be better off carrying the puck over the blue line.

"Their gap is pretty tight," he said of the Kings' defense. "I think that's going to lead to defending whole shifts if we look for that type of entry.

"I think we've got to recognize whether we have to chip it. I think every time that we have chipped it, we've gotten it in and we got it back. I think we've had enough zone time off of getting it in deep."

It's Crow time:

Joel Quenneville isn't displeased with Corey Crawford's play in net, but he said it must be better in order for the Hawks to make a comeback.

"He's been all right," Quenneville said. "I think we're going to need him to be really good, and we need that Wednesday night."

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