The defending champion Chicago Blackhawks' best strategy for taking down the Los Angeles Kings in Sunday's Game 7 (8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) might simply be to know thyself.
When the Blackhawks analyze the Kings, it is like looking in the mirror.
The teams have a number of similarities, including the fact they are both dangerous offensive teams. In an era when goals are challenging to produce, the winning team has scored three or more goals in all six games.
Here are six matchups that matter as the teams determine who'll face the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final:
Anze Kopitar vs. Jonathan Toews: The Selke Trophy finalists are exceptional two-way forwards. They have faced each other often in this series, and neither coach seems to mind that matchup. The Kings' Kopitar leads the NHL in playoff scoring with 23 points in 21 games. However, he doesn't have a goal in the Western Conference Final and has four assists in the six games.
The Kings have won two Game 7 on the road this spring, and Kopitar has totaled two goals and two assists in those games. It's not much of a leap to conclude that if he has a big game, the Kings will win Game 7. Toews probably knows that as well.
Toews has been the more productive of the two in the series, registering three goals and three assists. Plus, he has scored four game-winning goals in Chicago's 11 playoff wins this spring.
Marian Gaborik vs. Patrick Kane: Kane is the Blackhawks' most dangerous goal scorer, and Gaborik has become that player for the Kings.
MORE: Kane leads Game 6 win
Gaborik leads all NHL playoff scorers with 11 goals, but Kane has a history of scoring big goals in big games. The dynamic small winger has two goals and five assists over the past two games as Chicago rallied from a 3-1 series deficit.
Gaborik has been shut out in four of the games in this series. The Kings need him to match or better Kane's production.
Drew Doughty vs. Duncan Keith: Chicago's Keith is expected to win the Norris Trophy as the regular season's best defenseman, but he might be the second-best defenseman in this series in terms of impact on his team.
PHOTOS: Blackhawks vs. Kings
Doughty has had three goals and four assists in this series, making him the team's second-highest scorer. He has been a visible presence. But Keith had the tying goal in third period of Game 6.
Game 7 would dictate that both defensemen play a safer brand of hockey, and that might favor Keith. Maybe it's a toss-up. Both players are capable of being difference-makers.
Carter and Co. vs. Chicago's secondary scorers: Kings forward Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson played a major role in helping the Kings build a 3-1 series lead. They have given the Kings impressive scoring depth.
But those three were a combined minus 6 in Game 6. Meanwhile, Chicago role player Ben Smith has scored a couple of big goals in each of the past two games.
Andrew Shaw's return to the lineup in Game 3 and his elevation to Kane's line in Game 5 gave the Blackhawks a lift. Secondary scoring should be important in Game 7.
Kings' power play vs. Chicago's penalty killers: The Blackhawks were the NHL's best playoff penalty-killing team after two rounds, but they have given up six power play goals in this series.
One can guess that penalty killing will be an area of emphasis for the Blackhawks going into Game 7.
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Jonathan Quick vs. Corey Crawford: Chicago's Crawford and Los Angeles' Quick both have Stanley Cup rings, and both have poor save percentages in this series. Quick has slightly better numbers in the series, but his goals-against average is 3.02 and his save percentage is .886.
In this series, both goalies have looked exceptional at times and average at times. Either could be the difference in Game 7.