Western Final, Game 2: Kings Lose 4-2, CHI leads series 2-0
CHICAGO – Andrew Shaw put the home team up just under two minutes into the game and unfortunately for the Kings, the Blackhawks never looked back as they took control of Game 2 winning by a 4-2 score and taking a 2-0 series lead as this battle now shifts to Los Angeles.
Despite the early goal against, the Kings came out with a better effort to open tonight’s game than they did yesterday. They may not have gotten the end result they wanted with any goals in the opening frame but for a significant chunk of the period, they did outshoot Chicago 10-1.
Unfortunately, the Blackhawks were not fazed and they added to their lead in the final minute as defenseman Brent Seabrook took a drop pass and shot his second of the postseason past Jonathan Quick to put the home side up by a safety.
A bit deflated entering the second, the Kings tried to right the ship when Dwight King was called for a penalty. In turn, the Hawks wasted no time as Bryan Bickell scored a power-play marker to put Chicago up 3-0 and they weren’t done as former King Michal Handzus made it 4-0 just over two minutes later. The game seemed to be all but over – but not quite.
With just 1:03 remaining in the second, Jeff Carter slapped a beautiful shot past Corey Crawford for his sixth to put Los Angeles on the board.
That would be all the scoring until 1:02 remaining in the third when Tyler Toffoli picked up his second of the postseason (on the power play) to cut the lead in half. But it was too little, much too late as the Blackhawks took full advantage of their home-ice edge and now head to Los Angeles hoping to put this series out of reach.
Despite outshooting Chicago in the first and third periods (31-26 in total), the Kings just did not have an answer. Allowing four goals on 26 shots, Jonathan Quick was not his usually self but then again, it is hard to blame the guy for having an off-night when he gets very little support up front.
As a result of David Bolland’s late hit in Game 1, Mike Richards did not play in Game 2 but most of the team looked ineffective as the defending champs could not shake off the Madhouse Effect.
But as dire as the situation seems, the Los Angeles Kings did drop the first two games of their opening-round series on the road versus St. Louis before roaring back to win four-straight and the series. The Blackhawks may be a tougher team but the Kings certainly know that they are capable of another series comeback.
Hopefully an appearance back home will do just the trick for Los Angeles.