Blackhawks dethrone the Kings to get back on track

It was a very good night for the Blackhawks, and not just on their home ice.

First, the Blackhawks won again - and did so in the assertive kind of fashion that Chicago fans have come to expect. It was playoff-level hockey against the Los Angeles Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champs who are desperate to hold on to a playoff position. Unfortunately for the Kings, not only did they lose to Chicago, but across their division, the Flames beat the Stars 5-3 for a regulation win, widening the gap that the Kings need to make up.

Secondly, the Blackhawks looked confident in this win. The lines were clicking. Teuvo Teräväinen, playing on the so-called 'fourth' line, registered 8 SOG. Scott Darling let in just one goal - which he acknowledged after the game wasn't a great goal, but he didn't need to worry about the damage; his teammates hung four on the Kings. The Blackhawks also registered 40 SOG (in addition to 22 more attempted shots).

Bryan Bickell opened up the scoring for the Blackhawks early (5:31), and Jake Muzzin tied it up for the Kings with 32 seconds left in the first period to make it 1-1.

Duncan Keith opened the second period with a power play goal (1:37), making it 2-1. Niklas Hjalmarsson scored barely a minute later to make it 3-1. Marian Hossa would salt away the game with a goal late in the third.

THREE STARS:

1. Duncan Keith - CHI

2. Johnny Oduya - CHI

3. Brandon Saad - CHI

The Blackhawks will host the Canucks on Thursday at the United Center before heading to Buffalo on Friday.