Blackhawks take first home playoff loss 6-2 vs Kings

If you were betting on the Blackhawks sweeping the Western Conference Finals, that's a bet that was definitely lost tonight, as Chicago had their first loss on home ice in the playoffs so far.

The Blackhawks owned possession for most of the first, but the Kings were dedicating themselves to defense and commanding face offs. It was a steady parade to the box for both teams throughout the first: the Kings took four, and the Blackhawks two. Nick Leddy got Chicago on the board first, a power play goal 14:16 into the game, off a feed from Duncan Keith.

Just after Drew Doughty's late-first-period penalty expired in the second, Ben Smith made it 2-0 for the Blackhawks 1:40 into the period.

It took almost 40 minutes, but the Kings finally got on the board with 1:46 left in the second; Justin Williams shoveling in a puck on the doorstop to make it 2-1. But the Kings were far from done when it came to scoring.

Brandon Bollig went to the box for interference just 1:14 into the third, and the Kings got a power play goal by Drew Doughty to tie things up at 2-2. Then the Blackhawks went to the PK again for a too many men penalty, and Jeff Carter gave the Kings their first lead (3-2) of the game on another PPG. The Blackhawks have only given up 4 PPGA in 48 times (91.7%) shorthanded prior to tonight; they gave up 2 PPGA in 5 times shorthanded today, which takes them down to 88.7% on their PK - still ahead of the Rangers (85.4%), Kings (82.5%), and Canadiens (74.3%).

The Kings still had plenty of scoring left to do, however, and the Blackhawks began to look like they lost interest after giving up three unanswered goals. Tyler Toffoli would make it 4-2, and then Jeff Carter would get a goal and an empty-net goal to get a hat trick and make the final score 6-2.

After commanding the first, the Blackhawks ended up on the short side of both overall Corsi (48%) and Fenwick (44.1%). The Kings trailed in shot attempts after the first, but ended up with 31 SOG, 13 attempts blocked, and 7 missed shots. The only skater not to record any shot attempts for LA was Kyle Clifford, while Jeff Carter led the team with 5 SOG and 2 A/B (and oh yes, that hat trick).

By the end of the game, only 14 Blackhawks had been credited with any shot attempts, with Marian Hossa leading with 4 SOG, 2 A/B, and 1 MS. Chicago finished with 25 SOG, 17 A/B, and 5 MS - the bulk of which happened in the first two periods.

Game 3 is Saturday night in Los Angeles, where the Kings are 3-3 on home ice so far in the playoffs.

Three Stars:
1) Jeff Carter - LAK
2) Jonathan Quick - LAK
3) Ben Smith - CHI

 

 

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