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Royal Blood: Kings 2, Blackhawks 1

Blackhawks started with no energy and never seemed to find it.

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Los Angeles Kings at The United Center on Sunday night by a score of 2-1.

The game got off to a sleepy start as both the Hawks and Kings looked very much the part of two teams that had played the night before.

Halfway through the first, the Max Domi line was in the midst of an extended cycle in the Kings’ zone when Tyler Johnson was tripped up, resulting in a quick exit for the Kings and a Kevin Fiala breakaway. Petr Mrazek made the initial save but drifted out of position, leaving a wide open net for Jarret Anderson-Dolan to slam home the rebound.

Second period started the same with the Kings jamming up the neutral zone and the Hawks failing to generate much of anything.

Six minutes in, Fiala found a streaking Anderson-Dolan sneaking through the slot and Anderson-Dolan beat Mrazek blocker-side for the Kings second goal.

A dominant shift by the Toews’ line with five minutes left in the third kept the same Kings skaters on the ice for over two minutes. After an icing call and a Max Domi faceoff win, Ian Mitchell made an anticipatory read, drove the slot and beat LA goaltender Pheonix Copley with a wrister for his first goal of the season.

Coach Luke Richardson pulled Mrazek late and the Hawks got a power play with 20 seconds left but failed to score the equalizer.

Notes

Aaaaaaand that’s the end of the fun stuff.

  • The Blackhawks are now 0-6-1 in back-to-back games this season.
  • The Kings have the third worst overall save percentage in the entire league at .880. Their starting goaltender, Pheonix Copley (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), was pulled 39 seconds into their game last night after he gave up two goals. You would think that Hawks would come out firing. It took them 15 minutes to get their first shot on net and they ended the period with 3 shots: 2 by Jonathan Toews (one of which was tipped off his skate) and 1 by Max Domi.
  • The Kings stifled the Hawks all game by using a 1-3-1 trap and clogging the neutral zone. LA kept one D back deep to take away the dump and forced the Hawks to try and carry the puck through with speed — which they were never able to do. The fact the Hawks didn’t make any sort of adjustment and seemed content to just keep running headfirst into the Kings is concerning.
  • Quinton Byfield got bumped to the top line so Kevin Fiala could skate on the third line with Blake Lizotte and Jarret Anderson-Dolan and it paid off big for the Kings. Fiala and Anderson-Dolan were dangerous all night — with Anderson-Dolan scoring both goals and Fiala getting both primary assists. They also rocked a 60.8 percent shot attempt share and generated 8 high-danger chances.
  • The Blackhawks had 4 high-danger chances all game.
  • Ian Mitchell got his first goal this season but looked terrible (see the impact chart below). He was on the ice for both LA goals and definitely should have drifted over sooner to close out Anderson-Dolan on the second.
  • Tyler Johnson left after the first period with an undisclosed injury and never returned. He’s already missed 20 games this season with an ankle injury and apparently re-aggravated it:

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Jarret Anderson-Dolan — 2 Goals, GWG
  2. Kevin Fiala — 2 Assists
  3. Petr Mrazek — 25 saves, kept the Hawks in a game they had no business being in

What’s next

The Blackhawks get a day off before heading to Vancouver to face the Canucks on Tuesday with a lovely, West Coast 9 p.m. start. #Boudreauforever