Los Angeles Kings in near must-win Tuesday night

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) is replaced in the second period by teammate Jonathan...

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) is replaced in the second period by teammate Jonathan Bernier (45) after allowing four unanswered goals to the Chicago Blackhawks during Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference finals playoff hockey game in Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Young)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 PM ET

EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. - They are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and, yes, the throne still belongs to the Los Angeles Kings.

But when they laid claim to the title last year, the resistance they faced wasn't nearly as stiff as what they face in their defence.

It's not just the 2-0 hole the Chicago Blackhawks have put them in after the first 48 hours of the Western Conference final, either. Nor was it the grinding wear of the seven-game series against the San Jose Sharks last round, or even the similar 2-0 deficit they had against St. Louis in the opening series of these playoffs.

Two games into the Western Conference final, the Kings are being asked for more right now than they did in the six consecutive post-season series victories they took into this matchup.


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