Entering Tuesday night’s game at the United Center, the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were both looking to end their respective losing skids. The Hawks, who have lost seven straight, were coming off a 6–4 home loss to the Dallas Stars while the Kings fell 6–3 in Minnesota last Sunday to open a three-game road trip. The Blackhawks turned to Collin Delia to start in net against the Kings’ Jonathan Quick.
The Kings struck first for a 1–0 lead at the 7:43 mark when former Blackhawks forward Phillip Danault found a wide (and I mean WIDE) open Trevor Moore in front of the left post, where he had what felt like a week and a half to shoot into a wide open net as Delia was caught out of position. For Moore, it was his 15th goal of the season and second in his last three games.
Less than two minutes later, the Kings took a 2–0 lead when Danault scored his 22nd of the season. Danault’s line continued to give the Hawks fits, as his shot from the right half boards was initially stopped by Delia then deflected in off Caleb Jones’ skate.
After one, the Kings outshot the Hawks 14–6, which certainly reflected the significant edge LA had in the period. In fact, the Hawks did not register their first shot on goal until halfway through the frame.
Despite struggling to generate any offense, Taylor Raddysh put the Hawks on the scoreboard with his third goal as a Blackhawk and eighth of the season. Raddysh fired a one-timer from inside the left circle off a nice backhand pass by Philipp Kurashev to cut the deficit to 2–1 with 3:33 left in the frame.
Thirty three seconds later, the Kings had a 3-on-2 down low that was finished by Blake Lizotte for his ninth of the season to give LA a 3–1 lead.
In the second, LA outshot Chicago 12–5 and had a significant 26–11 advantage through 40 minutes.
At 5:08 of the third, LA extended its lead to 4–1 when Jordan Spence scored his second of the season with a shot from the point that went in off the knee of Seth Jones. The goal was preceded by a tremendous save by Quick, who robbed Lukas Reichel of his first NHL goal on the doorstep off a rebound in the closing seconds of a Hawks power play.
With 3:18 left, Kurashev outworked former Hawks defensemen Olli Maatta for the puck and kicked it over to Raddysh, who had a 2-on-0 in front of the net, and he fed Patrick Kane, who scored his 23rd of the season to cut the Kings’ lead to 4–2.
The Hawks pulled Delia to try and muster a comeback, but Lizotte scored his second of the game and 10th of the season to give LA a 5–2 lead and put this one away.
The Kings snapped their three-game skid while extending the Blackhawks’ slide to eight. Both teams registered nine shots on goal in the third, but the Kings won this statistic easily, 36–20.
The good, the bad, the ugly
Taylor Raddysh: He continues to impress since his arrival from Tampa Bay with his blend of size and skill. Raddysh filled the stat sheet with a goal, an assist, three shots on goal and a team-high eight hits.
Philipp Kurashev: Another solid game for the 22-year-old forward, who had two assists and showed his creativity and speed on the forecheck.
Collin Delia: While the cast in front of him did not help, he was terrible, especially on the first and third goals when he was caught completely out of position, leading to easy finishes by the Kings.
The rest of the Blackhawks players: If you were not keeping score at home, the Hawks did not register their first shot on net until midway through the first. That shot was one of only six in the first 20 minutes. They added another five shots on goal in the second and at one point had just four shots on goal by forwards. This is a Kings team that has been decimated by injuries, including Drew Doughty, who had season-ending wrist surgery on Monday.
Not a good night for the home team as they continue to struggle in the season’s final month. The Hawks clearly looked like a team with nothing to play for, however, there are positive signs from some of the Hawks young players who are clearly looking to draw attention from team management. The Hawks return to the UC on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. CDT on NBCSCH, which will be the final call for Blackhawks’ Hall of Fame broadcaster Pat Foley. The radio call will be on 720 WGN.