The Chicago Blackhawks looked to be well on their way to taking a 2-0 series lead at home on Wednesday night after jumping to a two goal lead against the LA Kings courtesy of Nick Leddy and Ben Smith.
But as many fans, coaches and even players have said, the two goal lead is the worst lead to have in hockey.
Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, that turned out to be the case in this game.
Kings veteran Justin Williams scored his six of the playoffs and sparked a comeback that saw the Kings defeat the Blackhawks 6-2.Jeff Carter tallied four points on the night with a hat trick and an assist. Jack Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli scored the other goals for the Kings.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots on the night including a massive glove save off a Brent Seabrook one-timer. Quick ended the game with a .920 save percentage helping the Kings to a much needed road win.
Tanner Pearson, Drew Doughty, and Marion Gaborik all tallied assists and were involved throughout the game.
With the win, the Kings have tied the series at 1-1 before heading home to Los Angeles.
This was an absolutely stunning team effort by the Los Angeles Kings. They were able to make the Blackhawks pay for taking penalties, scoring two powerplay goals in the third to claim their first lead in the game.
The Kings forwards used their explosive speed to open up the Blackhawks defencemen and increase their lead and the Blackhawks were never able to respond and began making costly mistakes.
The Blackhawks only have themselves to blame for this loss. Those back to back penalties early in the third period really killed their momentum. The defense was sloppy at times and didn’t do a very good job protecting the middle of the ice.
There were two defencemen on either side of Jeff Carter moments before he tipped in a goal and not one of them even attempted to shove him at all. As a result, Carter and the Kings were basically given a goal.
This was a very ugly loss for the Blackhawks and Chicago head coach Joel Quennville will surely be furious with the result.
But the Blackhawks will have to somehow forget about this collapse and prepare for game three in Los Angeles on Saturday. They’ll need to be far more disciplined in the defensive end if they hope to win on the road and regain the lead in the series.
The defencemen must do a better job at protecting the front of their net as well. For the Kings, they need to do whatever it takes to keep this momentum. If they can score a couple of early goals at home, they’ll be well on their way to securing their first lead in the series.
I can’t wait to see if Justin Williams and the Kings will be able to continue winning. Or if Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marion Hossa will wake up and stun the Kings on the road.
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