Kings appear to be running out of gas

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter looks over his team during a time out against the Blackhawks in Game...

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter looks over his team during a time out against the Blackhawks in Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference final at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, June 6, 2013. (LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:31 AM ET

LOS ANGELES - They've shown in the past that they rarely should be counted out, but might the Los Angeles Kings finally have run out of fuel?

Getting a split at home in Games 3 and 4 of the NHL Western Conference final kept the heart ticking – but just barely – for the defending Stanley Cup champs. After Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Blackhawks, they face potential elimination Saturday night in Chicago.

So do they have one last stand in them in a playoff season that is proving much more gruelling than their championship run? You get the feeling their 3-1 win Tuesday might have taken too much out of them, especially against a 'Hawks team that has reserved just enough of its Presidents' Trophy form.

Kings captain Dustin Brown is either hurt or out of gas, the same could be said about Anze Kopitar and it certainly didn't help being without concussed Mike Richards for the past three games.

The mind may still be willing for the Kings, but a body running on fumes now has to survive in what promises to be a wild United Center against a 'Hawks team a win away from the Stanley Cup final.


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