Game 34; 22-8-4
CHICAGO – They entered the Windy City with six straight wins and points in 17 of their last 18. A battle of the last two Stanley Cup champions would have been an exciting affair – but the Los Angeles Kings got off to a very slow start which ultimately cost them the game.
Having not allowed a first-period goal in 18 straight outings, the Kings were hoping to extend that streak, but it wasn’t to be.
After winning five-in-a-row, goaltender Martin Jones got the night off in favour of Ben Scrivens who didn’t have the most promising start against the Blackhawks.
5:45 into the game, Marian Hossa wristed a shorthanded tally to open the scoring. Then, just under the halfway point of the first, Kris Versteeg scored his sixth to put the Hawks by a pair. But they were not done there as Patrick Sharp scored on the power play with just 29 seconds remaining in the period.
After playing so well in their first three games of their road trip, the Kings laid an egg in the first period of this contest.
Ben Scrivens, however, did settle down in the second as he stopped 15 shots and 37 overall. Antti Raanta, however, was one better on the opposite end as he stopped all but one of Los Angeles’s 22 shots en route to the Chicago win.
Alec Martinez’s second goal with just under four minutes remaining in regulation was all the Kings could muster. On a positive note, Matt Greene assisted on the goal in his first game back into the lineup. Unfortunately, there weren’t many positives to come from this game as the opening period set the tone for the rest of the game.
Any loss is a tough pill to swallow and this is certainly no exception as the Hawks continue their recent dominance over the Kings who could not avenge themselves from their Western Final loss last spring.
But it’s onward and upward as Los Angeles looks to rebound as they return home on Tuesday night to face the Edmonton Oilers.