The LA Kings haven’t lose a home game in the playoffs this year. We won’t include carry over stats from the year before, but this statistic alone is staggering. The problem with statistics, much like the perfect PK Chicago had for most of the first two rounds, is that everything comes to end. Tonight was that night for LA as Chicago finally found a way to beat the Kings at home, 3-2.
If you’ll remember from my last recap, I made mention that Slava Voynov is one of the most underrated offensively talented Defensemen in the West. Voynov apparently heard us and was thrilled with making new fans because 3 minutes into this game, a scrum in front of the net leads to a puck trailing up to just above the circle. You know who hangs out above the circles, lurking like a puck shark? Slava Voynov. Voynov blasts the pucks through the web of bodies and it’s 1-0 LA, early. That would only last so long though, 10 minutes later Bryan Bickell would want to get in on the action, like he’s been doing all playoffs. On a shot Jonathan Quick will beg to have back, Bickell snaps through a pair of screening legs and beats Quick, drawing the game even heading into the second.
2 Minutes into the Second period, the Kings would strike again. Jeff Carter would streak to the right side of the net with Big Body Dustin Penner. Penner was having a field day moving D-men and got to the Carter pass, putting it passed Corey Crawford and giving the Kings a 2-1 lead. A lead they would hang on to most of the period, until a minute and a half left. A Bryan Bickell shot that as beating Quick, was tipped in by Patrick Kane, who I’m sure the Hawks were happy found the back of the net one way or another.
At the start of the third it was Chicago turn to strike first. 1 Minute in Marian Hossa receives a 1 timer in the high slot. Everyone that knows Marian Hossa knows how this next sentence is going to end. Hossa unloads the 1-timer beating Quick, who had no chance on the shot, and the Chicago Blackhawks take a 3-2 lead.
Despite third period pressure and physical play from the Kings, they were held off the scoreboard and largely off the actual shot count itself. Getting just 2 shots to the net in the period, despite a power play, the Kings couldn’t solve the Hawks when they needed to.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Bryan Bickell
2 – Patrick Kane
3 – Slava Voynov