Mar 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) celebrates his goal with center Andrew Shaw (65) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks iced the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-1, to give the Hawks 4 ever-so-valuable points in the last 2 nights.
At the start of the 1st period, both teams would trade small chances and shots. Then, at 5:51 of the 1st, Brandon Saad would use some great power hockey to create space and eventually a shot which would be tipped in by Bryan Bickell to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead.
At 13:35 of the 1st, it would be Saad and Bickell to make some noise for the Hawks again. This time, Saad would use his speed once again, but this time he and Bickell would crash the Kings’ net on a scoring chance when Robyn Regehr would hook Saad to give the Hawks a Power Play.
The Hawks and Kings would both get some good chances on the 2:00 Hawks’ Power Play, as the Kings would kill it.
The Hawks would continue limiting the Kings’ chances with clutch backchecking which in turn would lead to quality chances for the Hawks, but Jonathan Quick was able to make several quality saves.
With 30 seconds remaining in the 1st, Jake Muzzin would somehow find a way to sneak a saveable puck through Scott Darling’s 5-hole to tie the game at 1-1. At the end of the 1st, the game would remain tied up at one goal apiece.
There would be no momentum gained from Muzzin’s late 1st period goal for the Kings.
Less than a minute into the 2nd period, Andrej Sekera would commit a roughing penalty on Kris Versteeg to give the Hawks their 2nd Power Play. Duncan Keith would make them pay with his slapshot at 1:37 of the 2nd as he was able to blast the puck past Quick to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
The Hawks weren’t done yet…
About a minute later, Patrick Sharp would hit the post and on the ensuing rebound battle the puck would find Niklas Hjalmarsson’s stick would then be immediately deposited into the back of the Kings’ net to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Physicality would then seep its way into the game as it was clear that the Kings were growing frustrated. After a Jake Muzzin hit on Marcus Kruger, Kruger would inadvertently hi-stick Muzzin on his way down and give the Kings their first Power Play of the game.
The chances would be there for the Kings, but Scott Darling and the Hawks Penalty Killers were up to the task and eliminated the L.A man-advantage.
Early in the 3rd period, the Hawks controlled the majority of the chances. However, around the half-way point, the Kings started to push back but were thwarted by some nice defense from the Hawks.
Marian Hossa would put the game out of reach with less than 7 minutes remaining when he found the back of the net to make it 4-1 Hawks.
Hossa’s goal would erase any of the Kings’ slim, remaining chances of mounting a comeback as the Hawks would go on to win the game 4-1.
With the Hawks win and the St. Louis Blues’ loss, the Hawks are now only one point behind the Blues, with each team having only 6 games remaining and 2 of them being against one another, it should be a wild and fun race to the finish for playoff positioning.