Blackhawks bow to Kings 3-2

 

As things begin to tighten up in the Western Conference we had an inter-conference game that mattered much for both of these two teams. At the start of the game the LA Kings were in eleventh place in the conference right outside the playoff spots but by the end of the game they jumped to the ninth spot. The Blackhawks hanging onto sixth place needed to continue to win to stay in the six spot with Colorado, Phoenix and San Jose right behind them. Even though the Hawks only picked up one point they stayed in the sixth slot. 

In goal for the night was Jonathan Quick for LA and Ray Emery for the Blackhawks. The Hawks needed to figure out the mystery called Quick. In the previous two outing the Blackhawks were shut out on both occasions. The Hawks needed to shoot early and often and get bodies in front of Quick which was lacking in their previous encounters.

In the first period saw the Hawks starting out very helter skelter. The start was all Kings and wide open play with Hawks defensive breakdowns that caught Keith out of position and saw a 4 on 1 with Seabrook the only defenseman back which was too much and Voynov scored on Emery to put the Kings ahead early 1-0. Emery kept the Hawks in the game early as the puck handling by the Hawks was not good to the least. Not sure if the time change affected the Hawks internal body clocks or what but there were totally out of sync in the first period and were lucky to get out only trailing by one.

Finally late in the second period the Hawks came alive and stunned the Kings with their speed through the neutral zone and caught LA with poor defensive positioning.  Kruger got a rebound off of a Sharp shot to the net that got past Quick as finally the Hawks solved the puzzle of Quick and tied the game 1-1.  Then very late the Hawks gave up the puck and Carter who was left alone in front scored five hole on Emery 2-1 Kings.

The third period saw a Stalberg penalty shot that did not get past Quick still 2-1 Kings. The Blackhawks kept coming at the Kings. Their persistence paid off and Chicago did score on a goal mouth jam with everyone at the net, but it was Patrick Kane that jammed it past Quick to get the Blackhawks back to a tie 2-2. Late in the period with only 2:44 left Stalberg committed an inadvertent trip which, put the Kings on a power play for basically the rest of the period and sent the game into OT and gave each team a much needed point in the standings.

The OT went with no goals so we went into the shoot out which by the way I hate. LA shot first with Williams, Carter, Brown, Stoll, Kopitar all stopped by Emery but in the 6th round Mike Richards put it past Emery for the 3-2 win. Chicago shooters were Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Stalberg, Shaw and Kruger.

Observations

 

·       The Hawks are fortunate that right now Ray Emery is on his game. There have been far too many games when it looks like he is the only Hawk that is awake out there. Way to play Razor

·       The Hawks are still struggling with puck management especially in their own zone and through center ice. They are still turning the puck over way too much. This game I’m not sure what they saw but, it seemed that the Hawks defensemen were jumping in the offensive zone a lot but they sacrificed defensive positioning in the process.

·       I don’t know what happens to the Blackhawks at the end of periods but they really need to focus going forward because they give up way too many goals in the last 4:00 minutes of periods which really turns momentum.

·       I hope the Hawks learned that against defensive teams like LA, St. Louis, Nashville you have to get dirty goals and bodies to the crease if you want to score. Their goalies are too good otherwise.

 

Three stars of the game – 1)  Quick  2)  Emery  3)  Stoll

 

Hawks play again Tueday against the St. Louis Blues which can be caught on CSN or WGN Radio 720. Start time is at 7:30 pm CT

 

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