Connect to share and comment
Blackhawks 3, Kings 2: Marian Hossa scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period as top-seeded Chicago moved within one victory of reaching the Stanley Cup final by handing defending champion Los Angeles its first home loss of the postseason.
Bryan Bickell netted his eighth tally of the playoffs to extend his point streak to four contests and set up Patrick Kane, who snapped a seven-game goalless drought with 1:39 remaining in the second period. Corey Crawford (19 saves) stopped both shots he faced in the third period for the Presidents' Trophy-winning Blackhawks, who overcame the absence of suspended defenseman Duncan Keith to put themselves in position to clinch the Western Conference final at home in Game 5 on Saturday.
Slava Voynov scored to lead all NHL defensemen with six goals, Dustin Penner also tallied and rookie Tyler Toffoli added an assist to extend his point streak to three games. Jonathan Quick turned aside 25 shots for the fifth-seeded Kings, who fell to 8-1 at Staples Center in the playoffs and tasted defeat at home for the first time since dropping a 1-0 decision to Vancouver on March 23.
Chicago made Los Angeles pay for an ill-advised line change after the latter killed off a penalty. The decision resulted in a 2-on-1 rush, and Michal Handzus skated into the zone and set up Hossa, who buried a one-timer from the edge of the right faceoff circle 70 seconds into the third period.
The Kings snapped a 1-1 tie just 2:12 into the second as Jeff Carter skated up the right wing and wristed a weak shot on goal. Crawford had difficulty settling the loose puck and Penner eluded defenseman Sheldon Brookbank before backhanding it into the net. Chicago forged a tie as Bickell deflected defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson's point shot, with Kane alertly tapping the puck home as it inched closer to the goal line.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Los Angeles opened the scoring 3:28 into the first period as LW Kyle Clifford backhanded the puck from behind the net to Voynov, who unleashed a blast from the point that beat Crawford inside the left post. Voynov's six postseason goals are the most by a defenseman since Vancouver's Ed Jovanovski had seven in 2003. ... Bickell answered nearly 10 minutes later as his wrist shot from just inside the blue line handcuffed Quick and trickled into the net. ... Kings C Mike Richards missed his third consecutive game with a concussion. He suffered the injury after being blasted by Chicago C Dave Bolland in the latter stages of the third period in Game 1. ... The 2010 Norris Trophy winner, Keith was suspended one game by the NHL after he was whistled for high-sticking Carter during the second period of the Kings' 3-1 triumph in Game 3. Brookbank replaced Keith in the lineup and played for the first time since April 27.