Posting their seventh win in eight games against the Los Angeles
Kings, including a five-game victory in last season's Western
Conference finals, the Blackhawks earned a 5-3 win Monday at Staples
Chicago (34-10-14) lost of five of its previous six games overall.
Los Angeles (30-22-6) failed to win despite playing well
offensively, adding to the frustration that accompanies its current
skid. The Kings lost their fourth game in a row and fell for the
ninth time in 10 games.
Winger Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, defenseman Nick
Leddy added a goal and an assist, and goaltender Corey Crawford made
31 saves for Chicago.
Kane learned of the death of his grandfather just prior to the
"It was a tough day overall," Kane said. "He was one of my great
friends growing up, and it was tough to hear that right before the
Chicago won for the second time in four games on a road trip that
will run through the Olympic break. Center Jonathan Toews and winger
Patrick Sharp added two assists each.
The Blackhawks took the lead for good at 3-2 on center Marcus
Kruger's sixth goal of the season with 6:09 remaining in the middle
period. Kruger deflected a shot in the slot from Leddy, and a second
deflection by Kings defenseman Matt Greene ricocheted past Los
Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Chicago added an insurance goal at the end of a man advantage when
Leddy hammered home his sixth of the season at 7:01 of the final
Kane sealed the victory off another odd-man rush against the Kings'
porous defense. Sharp drew the lone assist with 8:51 remaining in
As the Chicago lead lengthened, the large contingent of Blackhawks
fans inside Staples Center roared its approval.
"It was a great start, we had some excitement in our game," Chicago
coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was incredible how many Blackhawks
fans were here today. I think it really helped us."
The Kings, a preseason favorite to win the Pacific Division, have
dropped out of the division-title race and are losing ground rapidly
in the playoff race. They lead the ninth-place Coyotes by just four
points, with Phoenix holding three games in hand.
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"We've got one game left (before the Olympic break), and we'll plan
on playing the best game of the year," Kings coach Darryl Sutter
said. "I'm sure every team could use a break mentally; we're not
special. I look forward, not back, and we're as close to winning as
we are losing."
The Kings lost in a different manner than in most of the defeats in
the current skid. They scored as many goals Monday as they did in
their previous six games combined, but they could not match the
offensive firepower of the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"The guys are frustrated, but we are sticking together," Kings
winger Dustin Brown said. "We made a couple of mistakes. Against a
team like that, you can't make them."
Down 2-0 nine minutes into the game, the Kings rallied to tie the
Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty scored his eighth of the season
on the power play at 9:52 of the first period. The Kings squared
things on center Anze Kopitar's 17th goal of the season 6:30 into
the middle frame.
The Blackhawks jumped on the Kings by way of a power-play goal in
the game's second minute. Kane walked out from the right corner and
deposited his team-leading 26th goal past Quick at 1:02, with Toews
and Sharp earning assists.
Winger Bryan Bickell doubled the Chicago lead when he fired a wrist
shot past Quick at 9:11 off a three-on-one rush. Kane feathered a
pass to Bickell for the score that was his 100th point at 8:44.
For Los Angeles, Kopitar had a goal and two assists, winger Tyler
Toffoli scored his 10th of the season, and Quick made 25 saves.
NOTES: Chicago scratched D Michael Kostka, D Sheldon Brookbank and C
Michal Handzus. ... The Blackhawks are one of four teams that have
yet to be shutout this season. The St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks
and Colorado Avalanche have lit the lamp in every game as well. ...
Los Angeles did not dress D Alec Martinez, D Jeff Schultz and C
Jordan Nolan. ... Kings RW Matt Frattin returned to the lineup after
four consecutive games as a healthy scratch. He saw a team-low 6:58
of ice time.
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