Kings Use A Huge 1st Period To Take Game 4

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles scores three goals in the opening period and take Game 4, 5-2.

Not the result you wanted to see in Game 4, and definitely not the start you wanted to see either.  The Kings grabbed a big lead in the opening 20 minutes and they are now one more win away from their second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in three years.

The Kings committed two offensive zone penalties in the first seven minutes of the game, but the Hawks could not capitalize.  During the second Hawks power play Jake Muzzin gave Marian Hossa a push into Jonathan Quick and got the goalie interference call.  During the ensuing power play, the puck found Muzzin in the slot and he fired a shot past Corey Crawford, who never saw it because Jeff Carter was allowed to stand right in front of him.  Marian Gaborik doubled the Kings' lead on their very next shot.  Duncan Keith coughed up the puck to Anze Kopitar and Brent Seabrook could not keep up with Gaborik on his way to the front of the net wher he scored his first goal of the series.  The Kings would get another power play thanks to needless roughing penalty from "red ass" Patrick Sharp.  Dustin Brown was left all alone in front of the net while Seabrook and Keith watched him score his third goal of the playoffs.

Drew Doughty gave the Kings a 4-0 lead 12:43 into the 2nd period.  Doughty took a wrist shot from the point while both Justin Williams and Dwight King were behind the Hawks' second defensive pairing to screen Corey Crawford.  A little over a minute later, Brandon Saad got the Blackhawks on the board.  Alec Martinez turned the puck over to Michal Rozsival, who made a quick, one time pass to Saad who put a backhand shot past Jonathan Quick.

The Hawks were able to get another goal at 9:29 of the 3rd when Bryan Bickell found a loose puck in front of the net and put a backhand shot over Quick for his first goal of the series.  Tanner Pearson sealed the deal with an empty net goal with just over a minute left in the game.

* For the most part this series has been even at 5 on 5.  The Hawks' are getting owned in the special teams department and it is costing them their season.  The penalty kill has been stellar since January 1st, and key in beating the Blues and the Wild, but it is failing miserably against the Kings.  They are playing passive, giving the Kings' point men room to shoot all while allowing traffic in front of their goalie. That is a recipe for suckage.  The Kings' penalty killers are putting pressure on the Hawks point men the moment they enter zone, not allowing them to set up any kind of offense.  When they were able to get some pressure, mostly with the second unit, Jonathan Quick was there to make the saves.

* The Kings are making life hell for Corey Crawford by constantly getting bodies in front of him and preventing him to see the puck.  The Hawks keep thinking they can beat Johnathan Quick with cute little wrist shots.  Guess which team is up 3-1?

* The Hawks have enjoyed their best success when they are able to roll four lines.  Ever since the Olympic break, that has not been the case.  There are many reasons why this is happening.  Guys not performing, guys not being put into positions to succeed, double shifting etc. can all be attributed to this.  Michal Handzus got six shifts Monday night.  What's the point?

* Losing 58% of the faceoffs isn't going to get the job done.  Jarret Stoll is owning the faceoff dot in this series.  Jonathan Toews, who leads the playoffs in faceoff wins, went 7 for 21 in Game 4. Yuck!

* So, here we are.  The Blackhawks are on the brink of elimination again.  We saw this team go down 0-3 to Vancouver in 2011, only to lose in OT of Game 7.  We saw this team have a similar road trip to Detroit last year only to come back and win in seven games.  Can they do it one more time? Sure they can.  Will they? I don't know.  These aren't the 2013 Detroit Red Wings they are facing.  But, this is a Los Angeles team who already has two, three game losing streaks in this postseason, so they capable of choking this away.  If they Hawks want to make one more to the West Coast, they CAN NOT take penalties Wednesday night.  Get the next game and go from there.  A chip and a chair.....

Advanced Stats

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

18:10

62.1

2.4

0.0

-100

55.6

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

16:10

55.2

-8.0

80.0

55.0

30.0

Seabrook, Brent

D

15:43

65.2

6.5

0.0

-83.3

71.4

Leddy, Nick

D

19:08

54.8

-8.8

100

50.0

60.0

Sharp, Patrick

R

11:15

64.7

5.3

100

57.1

100

Regin, Peter

C

11:08

45.0

-20.2

33.3

-33.3

57.1

Kruger, Marcus

C

09:13

73.3

15.6

100

57.1

62.5

Toews, Jonathan

C

16:07

53.3

-11.0

33.3

-33.3

44.4

Saad, Brandon

L

17:11

66.7

9.0

33.3

-33.3

37.5

Versteeg, Kris

R

09:46

56.3

-5.2

100

50.0

25.0

Handzus, Michal

C

02:52

60.0

-0.5

100

50.0

0.0

Oduya, Johnny

D

14:59

65.4

7.1

100

80.0

37.5

Smith, Ben

R

14:13

75.0

18.9

100

50.0

20.0

Bickell, Bryan

L

15:57

54.8

-8.8

33.3

-33.3

44.4

Rozsival, Michal

D

20:02

61.8

2.2

100

50.0

60.0

Shaw, Andrew

C

15:15

60.9

0.6

33.3

-33.3

50.0

Hossa, Marian

R

14:03

63.6

4.3

100

57.1

75.0

Kane, Patrick

R

18:53

59.4

-1.7

33.3

-33.3

50.0

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Greene, Matt

D

13:17

57.9

23.6

66.7

33.3

44.4

Muzzin, Jake

D

19:16

34.4

-8.2

50.0

7.1

42.9

Doughty, Drew

D

20:04

38.5

-2.0

50.0

7.1

42.9

Richards, Mike

C

07:53

20.0

-22.1

0.0

-50.0

66.7

Kopitar, Anze

C

17:29

43.8

6.7

66.7

33.3

50.0

Gaborik, Marian

R

14:58

37.5

-2.8

66.7

33.3

44.4

Clifford, Kyle

L

08:39

23.1

-19.4

0.0

-50.0

66.7

Williams, Justin

R

13:49

41.7

3.0

66.7

33.3

50.0

Lewis, Trevor

C

10:22

14.3

-30.2

0.0

-44.4

50.0

Brown, Dustin

L

14:11

40.0

0.7

66.7

33.3

42.9

Voynov, Slava

D

19:08

28.6

-16.3

25.0

-35.0

54.5

Martinez, Alec

D

13:10

52.6

16.8

66.7

33.3

50.0

Stoll, Jarret

C

15:29

37.5

-2.8

100

71.4

41.7

Mitchell, Willie

D

19:51

37.1

-4.0

25.0

-35.0

50.0

Pearson, Tanner

L

11:06

52.2

17.3

0.0

-66.7

50.0

Toffoli, Tyler

C

12:56

52.2

17.3

0.0

-66.7

40.0

King, Dwight

L

15:01

38.5

-1.5

100

71.4

50.0

Carter, Jeff

C

11:27

45.0

7.1

0.0

-66.7

50.0

*all data collected from www.nhl.com and www.extraskater.com


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