RECAP: Blackhawks unable to keep up with the Kings

  

The Chicago Blackhawks came into California following a 5–2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Hawks won three out of four on their homestand, and began their road trip against the Los Angeles Kings. These teams met on March 15 in Chicago, where the Kings dominated the Hawks 5–0.

Wyatt Kaiser, a recent call-up from the Rockford IceHogs, made his way into the lineup. Jarred Tinordi was scratched from the game in a corresponding move.

First period

The first period proved to be unlike the contest on March 15. The Hawks were able to start this game preventing offense from the Kings. Los Angeles failed to register a shot on goal for over 10 minutes to start this game.

The lack of offense was ended 12 minutes into the first. Kings forward Alex Laferriere bounced one passed goaltender Petr Mrazek. He was assisted by Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Lizotte.

After two undisciplined penalties, the Hawks were able to tie up the game. Early in a two-man advantage, Nick Foligno had the puck bounce off his skate for a goal. Seth Jones and Philipp Kurashev assisted on the goal. With his assist, Jones recorded his 400th career point.

The first period ended at a 1–1 tie. The shots on goal were tied at six.

Second period

The second period was far less competitive than the first. The Kings were able to use their size and experience to keep the Hawks on their heels.

The scoring began nine minutes into this period. Vladislav Gavrikov was able to sneak a shot from the point by Mrazek. It was clear that Mrazek never saw the shot. Gavrikov was assisted on his goal by Anze Kopitar to Adrian Kempe. This goal gave Los Angeles a 2–1 lead.

Less than two minutes after the Gavrikov goal, Kopitar was able to take advantage of a poor defensive play by Kevin Korchinski and extended the lead to 3–1. He was assisted on the goal by Kempe.

The Hawks could not escape the second period scoring by the Kings late in the third. With less than a minute in the period, Kopitar scored his second of the night. He scored the goal unassisted. This power play goal gave Los Angeles a 4–1 lead at the end of the period.

Third period

The third period provided another period of impressive hockey from Los Angeles. 

The third period scoring began less than five minutes in. Phillip Danault was able to score his 16th of the season on a great passing sequence from Kevin Fiala and Trevor Moore. This goal extended the lead to 4–1.

The Hawks were able to find the net in this period 14 minutes in. After an impressive zone entry and passing sequence by Connor Bedard, Kurashev was able to find Korchinski with a cross-ice pass. Korchinski deflected the puck off a Kings player to cut the lead to two.

WIth less than three minutes left in the period, Los Angeles was able to get one last goal. Trevor Lewis was able to defect a Dubois shot into the net to make the final score 6–2. Gavrikov also gained an assist on the play.

Colin Blackwell left the game in the third period following a check from Fiala. He left the ice in obvious pain, clutching his chest while he was escorted off the ice by a trainer.

Analysis

The Kings have taken advantage of the Blackhawks this season. In both matchups, Los Angeles was able to put up five goals. Los Angeles suffocated Chicago throughout this game, and the Hawks were unable to mount any offensive momentum. The Hawks were able to find the back of the net twice in this game, which is two more times than their previous matchup with Los Angeles.

For Chicago, the time to play competitive games against quality opponents is not here yet. After dominating teams like the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and the Sharks in recent games, the story is different when playing contenders like the Kings. When mistakes are made by Chicago, good teams like Los Angeles are able to take advantage, which is what was seen in this game. There are growing pains for this young roster that will continue to be faced until progress is made.

The Blackhawks continue their West Coast road trip on Thursday against the Ducks. The puck drops at 9 p.m. CDT.

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