The Hawks knew that the Kings were going to give it 110% on Tuesday night so that they wouldn’t fall behind 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals, but the first period began with the look as though the Hawks had read too many press clippings on the flight to LAX.
The Kings struck early in the first period when Justin Williams scored three minutes in when he beat Corey Crawford on the short side. The Kings who looked like they were skating in mud in Chicago had a definite jump in their skates in the Staples Center. Crawford had a very strong 1st period after that goal stopping many quality Kings chances while keeping the game close at 1-0 through one period.
After keeping the game close you would have thought the Hawks would come out with a giant push to start the second period, but that wasn’t the case as the Kings continued to dominate the play and shots on goal. In the second period the Hawks only managed 3 shots on Jonathan Quick. The Kings took a 2-0 lead when Slava Voynov had all day to put one past Crawford in the slot. The second period play that will be remembered the most is when Jeff Carter slashed Duncan Keith‘s hand and in return Keith accidentally put his stick right in Carter’s mouth. Keith got a 4 minute minor and although the Hawks killed off the penalty the Hawks seemed out of sorts.
The Hawks did score one really late in the 2nd period when the unsung hero that is also a unrestricted free agent at the end of the season Bryan Bickell scored to cut the lead in half heading to the third period. Right before the period ended Dustin Brown took a clean run at Patrick Sharp that stung him but he was able to return for the third period.
The Hawks finally threw everything at the Kings including the kitchen sink in the third period but they came up unsuccessful in getting anything by Quick. Bickell had a great chance at the doorstep while Brandon Saad wasn’t able to connect on a feed late in the game. A scary moment came in the third when Niklas Hjalmarsson was hit on the inside of his knee and could barely get off the ice, but this is hockey and a few minutes later he was back at it on defense. The Kings added a empty net goal for the final tally of 3-1 with the series tightened at 2-1.
– Toews, Hossa, and Kane can show up for this series any day now
-Michal Handzus had his worst game of the playoffs
– The Kings are now 8-0 at the Staples Center in the 2013 playoffs
– Al Michaels looks really old now.
– It was very strange to see Patrick Sharp drop the gloves in the first period.
– Joel Quenneville is now 4 games under .500 all-time on the road in playoff action.
– Game #4 is Thursday night puck drop is at 8pm
– One Goal!
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