Game 13: Kings Lose 3-2, fall to 5-6-2
CHICAGO – They started out slow and lethargic and it resulted in surrendering an early 3-0 lead. Having the week they had travel-wise, few would have blamed the Los Angeles Kings for falling flat on their faces today at Chicago’s United Center. For much of the game, that’s just what they did. But they certainly didn’t end the afternoon without making things interesting first.
The Kings were on a five-game road trip in the Midwest, returned home for a Friday night tilt and returned to the Midwest to take on the league-leading Blackhawks. Today was also Jonathan Quick’s first appearance in a week and while he didn’t look as strong in the early going, he began to settle down as the game went on and the guys in front of him turned it up in the latter half of the contest
Despite being down 3-0 after the first 40 minutes, the Kings began to turn the tide with approximately seven minutes to go in the opening frame. On the power play early in the third, the Kings took advantage right away as Mike Richards took a point shot that founds its way through traffic and in to put Los Angeles on the board.
The score remained that way until just under eight minutes to go when on the power play again, Richards teed up a blast past Ray Emery to pull the Kings to within a goal. Thus far, I’ve been very critical of both Mike Richards and the Los Angeles power play and just like that, both were stepping it up.
Only seconds after Jonathan Quick was pulled for the extra skater, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya took a very undisciplined penalty punching Justin Williams in the head. With 1:04 to go in regulation, it was Los Angeles with a 6-on-4 advantage and a golden opportunity to tie the game. Unfortunately for them, Ray Emery stood tall and the Blackhawks hung on by the skin of their teeth, improving to 12-0-3 on the season.
When Jonathan Toews scored to put Chicago up 2-0, it was off a power play that saw the Kings lazily get penalized for having too many men on the ice. That goal and the third goal, a Patrick Sharp tally that proved to be the game-winner, Jonathan Quick was out of position and appeared to be a bit out of his element. Luckily, he settled down but it just wasn’t quite enough to beat the home team.
Considering they had to travel two time zones west and back again in a matter of days, no one would have blamed the Kings for not showing up at all today. While it was frustrating to watch them out there for the former part of the contest, it’s not hard to give the Kings credit for hanging in there and even making the game very interesting.
It is too bad they lost but if there is any consolation, it’s knowing that they didn’t go down without a fight. Let’s hope they continue that on Tuesday night as the Kings travel to Edmonton in hopes of avenging last month’s heartbreaking loss to the Oilers followed by a game the next night down the road in Calgary.
It’s onward and upward so let’s see what the Kings can do in Alberta.