Feb 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) controls the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks next stop on their West Coast Road Trip was LA to face off against the Kings. The Blackhawks last game was a shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Blackhawks have lost five of their last six games coming into tonight. The Kings meanwhile have lost eight of their last nine. The Kings offense has fallen on hard times. They had scored three goals in their last six games coming into tonight. This was rematch of the 2012-13 Western Conference finals and the last two teams to win the Stanley Cup.
The first period had a few themes: hits, penalties, and goals. The period began with a penalty on Drew Doughty for charging Patrick Sharp. The Doughty penalty occurred 24 seconds into the game. Patrick Kane would get the puck on the Blackhawks power play. Kane took the puck hard to the net and beat Kings Goalie Jonathan Quick for the game’s first goal. Former Blackhawks and current King, Colin Fraser was the second King to enter the penalty box. The Blackhawks felt left out and Patrick Sharp decided to draw blood on a high stick. Sharp was given a double minor for drawing blood. As a result of the Sharp penalty, the Kings had three minutes of power-play time. The Kings goal scoring woes continues as the Blackhawks killed the penalty.
The Blackhawks increased their lead as Dustin Brown committed a costly turnover at center ice. The turnover resulted in a three on one break with Kane, Shaw, and Bryan Bickell. Kane feathered a pass right to Bickell who buried the shot. Bickell recorded his 100th point of his NHL career with that goal. The Blackhawks led 2-0.
After the Bickell goal the game went back to five on four hockey. The Penalty box got lonely as five minutes after Sharp left the box, Andrew Shaw entered. This time the Kings made the Blackhawks pay. Doughty fired a bullet past Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks lead was now 2-1. The period ended at 2-1 but the Kings managed to tally two more penalties. One was given to Slava Voynov and the other to Dustin Brown.
The second period was dominated by the La Kings. At one point they had outshot the Blackhawks 11-2 in the period. Anze Kopitar scored the equalizer in the second period and started the Kings barrage of Crawford. Crawford fended off 15 shots in the period. Several were A + chances for the Kings. In the midst of the Kings dominating second period, the Blackhawks fourth line produced a goal. Marcus Kruger was wiped out in front of the Kings net. Kruger got up just in time to redirect a Ben Smith shot for a goal. The Kruger goal put the Blackhawks up 3-2. Both Quick and Crawford were impressive in the second period. The Kings outshot to the Blackhawks 15-7 in the second period but score favored the Blackhawks. At the end of two, the Blackhawks led 3-2.
The Third period is when the Blackhawks offensive machine roared to life. After the Kings just killed a penalty, Nick Leddy drilled a shot from the point past Quick. The Blackhawks lead was 4-2 after the Leddy goal. Just past the midway mark in third period, Patrick Sharp had a nice steal deep in the Kings zone. He guided a pass through the goal crease to find Kane for his second goal of the game. The Blackhawks lead was 5-2. The Blackhawks suffered another let down after scoring a goal. The Kings answered the Kane goal with a goal from Tyler Toffoli. The Blackhawks did have several more chances to beat Quick but failed to capitalize. The Kings tried mounting a comeback but came up short. The Blackhawks defeated the Kings 5-3.
NEWS AND NOTES
- Patrick Kane had two goals and one assist in the game.
- The Blackhawks were 3-0 against the Kings this season.
- The Blackhawks are 2-0-2 on the road trip.
- Bryan Bickell registered his 100th NHL point with a goal in the first period.
- Bickell returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the last two games. Bickell registered 8.10 minutes of ice time, the least amount on the Blackhawks.
- Before tonight’s game Kings Goalie Jonathan Quick is 6-11-1 with 2.63 goals against average and a .915 save percentage against the Blackhawks all time. His career goals against average 2.30 and his .915 save percentage.
The Blackhawks next stop is in Anaheim on Tuesday.
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