With the Blackhawks virtually eliminated from the postseason, they wrapped up their March in Los Angeles to face the second worst team in the NHL; the Kings. At this point, losing out the rest of the year to move up the draft order and increase their lottery chances is the only thing Chicago can truly accomplish.
The Blackhawks had Corey Crawford in net, facing Jack Campbell for LA. Drake Caggiula made his return to the lineup while Slater Koekkoek, John Hayden and Brendan Perlini all took a mulligan for the night.
This was your Blackhawks starting lineup:
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Dylan Sikura
Drake Caggiula – Dylan Strome – Dominik Kahun
Alex DeBrincat – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane
Chris Kunitz – David Kampf– Marcus Kruger
Duncan Keith – Erik Gustafsson
Gustav Forsling – Brent Seabrook
Carl Dahlstrom – Connor Murphy
Not more than a minute and a half into the game, the Kings nearly took a fast 1-0 lead when Anze Kopitar found an errant puck in the Blackhawks slot area and beat Corey Crawford, but drew iron. The visitors could hardly afford to give up the Kings the lead that early on.
With 8:35 remaining in the first period, Marcus Kruger was caught hooking a Kings forward and ended up in the penalty box. Boasting the last ranked penalty kill in the NHL, the Blackhawks forced the Kings to spend most of the power play in their own end.
After holding an early shot lead, the Blackhawks were bending but never breaking. They were down 12-7 in shots when they drew their first power play of the night with four minutes left in the opening period. Their fate was only slightly better than the King on their first power play.
For that matter, only slightly better than the Kings second power play, as well, which LA drew shortly after they killed off the Blackhawks initial power play.
As a result, the teams were still tied at zero heading into the first intermission. The Kings were the shots on net leaders, 14-9.
A minute and thirty-eight seconds into the second period, their forty goal sophomore Alex DeBrincat drove to the Kings net and swept the puck into the crease. Kings defensemen Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez were charging into the crease and ended up putting the puck into their own net. This was certainly a case of “puck luck” but the Blackhawks could use as much help as possible.
We’ll take it!#Purr pic.twitter.com/teVJeNa29Z
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 31, 2019
The physical play ramped up as the second period went on, with Drake Caggiula and Brent Seabrook getting into altercations. Eventually, Jeff Carter took a penalty for slashing, which put the Blackhawks back on the man advantage. The Blackhawks failed on that power play as well.
With four minutes remaining in the second period, Kings forward Austin Wagner turned on the jets and blew past a flat-footed defenseman Carl Dahlstrom, eventually also beating goaltender Corey Crawford and tying the game for the Kings.
.@Austinwagner97 has wheels. 💨 pic.twitter.com/DYmfTivhV0
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 31, 2019
As the teams headed into the second intermission, the Blackhawks worked their way back in shots on net, leading 14-6 and thinking a 23-20 edge overall.
Three minutes into the third period the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead. Following a Marcus Kruger offensive zone faceoff win, Duncan Keith feathered a pass right into Erik Gustafsson’s wheelhouse, who surprised Jack Campbell. This was Gustafsson’s 17th goal and 56th point to match his sweater number.
GUS IS FIRING LASERS OUT HERE!
📲: https://t.co/K9UHgdx4tA pic.twitter.com/fHhN28ODnf
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) March 31, 2019
The Kings were able to cause enough chaos in the Blackhawks zone that the defense turned it over and gave center Michael Amadio a clean look at Corey Crawford, with plenty of time. Amadio snapped a shot into the top self, tying the game at two goals apiece.
This was how regulation play ended and the two teams went to overtime.
Despite some solid action up and down the ice, neither team was able to score on their combined four combined shots until Jonathan Toews took a late penalty. The Blackhawks were not able to get the puck out of their end and Drew Doughty beat Corey Crawford with a cannon of a shot to win the game. Chicago really needed to win the game in regulation to gain any ground.
- Alex DeBrincat and Erik Gustafsson continue to have storybook seasons. Of the two, I would predict that DeBrincat will be the one that has the potential to repeat.
- Drake Caggiula’s physical presence was noticeable and he nearly took a bad spill deep in the LA end of the ice after a battle with Kurtis MacDermid
- Corey Crawford continues to play amazing hockey, and continues to get little help.
- Patrick Kane was doing everything he could to try and “will” this team to a win, with a game high eight shots on net.
- The Blackhawks out shot the Kings 35-29 and were 1-for-3 on the power play. Earlier that was a recipe for success, but the law of averages have caught the Blackhawks and penalized them harshly. They also only gave up 15 shots in the final two period and overtime.
- David Kampf was hit in the face in the first period and was ruled out for the rest of the game.
- Twice in the second period, the Kings just imposed their physical will on the Blackhawks and Chicago looked pretty gutless outside of some minor sparks from Brent Seabrook.
- Artem Anisimov won only 5 of 20 faceoffs. That’s unacceptable.
Center Ice › Forums › RECAP: Kings beat Blackhawks in overtime 3-2
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