Chicago Blackhawks Land Major Blow to Kings with 4-2 Game 2 Win

2013 NHL Playoffs
2013 NHL Playoffs
Jun 2 2013 Chicago IL USA Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa 81 chases the puck with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez 27 during the third period in game two of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center Rob Grabowski USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight night, the Chicago Blackhawks steamrolled the defending champion L.A. Kings to take a 2-0 series lead. Jonathan Quick did his best to keep the Kings in Game 1, but he would not provide them with the luxury of elite goaltending on Sunday night. Instead, the Chicago Blackhawks became the first team to beat the defending Conn Smythe Trophy winner four times in his last 35 postseason starts.

The Hawks wasted no time in their assault on Quick, lighting the lamp less than two minutes into the game. A botched Kings breakout created chaos in the slot, and Chicago made it count. A nifty behind the back pass from Viktor Stalberg sent Andrew Shaw clean in on net, where he snuck a shot between Quick and the post to put the Blackhawks ahead.

Seemingly on a mission to make Monday morning’s Top Plays, Marian Hossa copied Viktor Stalberg’s no-look pass at the end of the first, this time to set up Brent Seabrook. Seabrook’s slapper from the faceoff dot zipped over Quick’s pad and inside the far post.

After the break, the Blackhawks kept the pressure on, scoring twice in the next ten minutes to send Quick to the bench. First Bryan Bickell put the puck through his legs from the edge of the crease, and then Michal Handzus ended Quick’s night with a 2-on-1 snipe.

Down by four with their best player on the bench, the Kings had little hope of a comeback. Nonetheless, Jonathan Bernier did stop the bleeding, turning away all nine shots he faced.

The Kings Jeff Carter did manage to score in the dying moments of the second but it was not enough turn the tide. The Kings would find one more goal, a powerplay strike from rookie Tyler Toffoli, but with just seconds left in the game it was meaningless strike.

After enduring two successive drubbings in Chicago, the Kings will now hope that a trip home can lift their morale. The Kings remain undefeated at the Staples Center this postseason, but their game will need to change if they hope to keep their home winning streak alive.

Corey Crawford has posed major problems for the Kings and has more or less eliminated any idea of a goaltending advantage on the Kings’ side. So far the Blackhawks have been the faster, more physical and more creative side, putting serious pressure on Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

The Kings must hold serve with two home wins this week or they will certainly be watching the finals from home. We’ll have to wait and see if Jonathan Quick and the Kings have what it takes to bounce back.

author avatar
Chris Blanchard
Chris Blanchard is a Boston, MA native and a student at Davidson College. He began writing about hockey as a Boston Bruins featured columnist for Bleacher Report in the fall of 2012. He has been covering the NHL for XN Sports since May of 2013. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');