The Kings will need to shine again at Staples Center after falling behind two games to none to the Chicago Blackhawks, losing 4-2 on Sunday in Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at United Center.
Chicago, which owned the league’s best regular-season record, dropped the Kings to 1-7 on the road in these playoffs and even forced Kings Coach Darryl Sutter to remove goalie Jonathan Quick from the net by scoring four goals midway through the second period.
“They’re perfect at home, we’ve got to counter that and work hard here,” Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw said after scoring a goal and refering to the Kings' 7-0 record at home this postseason.
Jeff Carter scored for the Kings late in the second period to make it 4-1, and 21-year-old Tyler Toffoli scored on a power play with 1:02 left in the third period for the final margin.
It was all Blackhawks, though, for the first 30 minutes of the game.
Shaw scored 1:56 into the game, beating Jonathan Quick on a low shot. The goal was set up by a pass from Nick Leddy to Viktor Stalberg, who backhanded a pass to Shaw.
Shaw’s shot deflected mildly off Kings center Trevor Lewis, deceptively sliding past Quick.
Then, with 50.4 seconds remaining in the first, Chicago right wing Marian Hossa scooted a pass back to teammate Brent Seabrook, who fired a low shot that beat Quick to his right to make it 2-0.
Before the streak-ending Toffoli goal, Chicago extended its perfection at home against power plays to 27 for -27 this postseason, killing off four penalties.
The lead grew to 4-0 in a sudden second-period segment.
First, Sharp blasted a shot, Bryan Bickell collected it and knocked the puck backhanded as Kings defensemen Robyn Regehr and Drew Doughty also swiped at it in front of Quick.
Those sticks made contact –- perhaps Regehr’s was the most impactful –- and the puck slid under Quick’s legs for a 3-0 Chicago lead.
Then, with 10:40 left in the second, Michal Handzus wristed a sharp shot that beat Quick to the right, forcing Sutter to insert Jonathan Bernier in goal. Quick faced 17 shots in all.
The Kings didn't swarm the net to rally in the third, perhaps feeling the effects of that seven-game tussle with San Jose and hard-hitting Game 1 on Saturday.
Third period (Blackhawks 4, Kings 2)
It's final, Chicago wins Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, 4-2. The Blackhawks lead best-of-seven series 2-0, with Game 3 set for Tuesday at Staples Center.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier has kept Chicago out of the net, denying a blue-line shot as the clock ticks under five minutes.
Shots on goal are 26-25 in Chicago’s favor.
The Kings aren’t swarming the goal as one might expect while facing this deficit. They know what they did in rallying past St. Louis in the first round of the playoffs after losing the first two on the road. And they were also unbeaten at home in eliminating San Jose in seven games last round.
Chicago, though, hasn’t received much from star Patrick Kane.
Defenseman Ducan Keith of the Blackhawks penalized for delay of game. Can the Kings break through here?
There’s less than two minutes left.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty shoots, but it's knocked away. Long shot tipped by left wing Dustin Penner.
A bouncing pass is swatted in by Kings center Tyler Toffoli with 1:02 left, making it 4-2 and ending the Blackhawks’ perfect home penalty kill streak at 27.
Less than 10 minutes remain in regulation.
A scuffle, the Kings forward Kyle Clifford and Chicago center Jonathan Toews going at it until Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival and Kings center Colin Fraser brawl more severely.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford jumps into the fray. The game is delayed to sort it out. Penalties on Fraser and Clifford, and to Toews and Rozsival, with 8:45 left.
It’s a power play for the Kings.
Kings left wing Dustin Penner blasts a shot, won’t go.
The Blackhawks move in short-handed, again proving strong when down a man.
The power play is killed by the Blackhawks, who are now 27 for 27 at home.
The Kings have a long way to go here, good thing they’ve played so well at Staples Center.
A backhanded shot by Chicago center Andrew Shaw is denied by Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who replaced starter Jonathan Quick in the second period.
Just 2:10 into the third, Blackhawks center David Bolland is whistled for high-sticking, giving the Kings a power play.
Kings right wing Justin Williams misses a hard shot, defenseman Drew Doughty tries to deflect a pass at the goal, no goal. The penalty is killed.
Second period (Blackhawks 4, Kings 1)
Icing call on the Kings. Chicago right wing Marian Hossa shoots off the faceoff, Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier stops it as wel las a follow by left wing Bryan Bickell.
Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp has a breakaway, but his shot hits the post to Bernier’s left.
The Kings look as bad as the yellow and black eye of defenseman Matt Greene.
Chicago has outshot the Kings 11-2 in this period. Then Kings left wing Dustin Penner gets an open shot and Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes an impressive stop.
Kings center Tyler Toffoli later fires wide left.
With 1:03 left, Kings forward Jeff Carter blasts a shot past Crawford, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
The period ends with the Blackhawks ahead by three goals.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford is working on his fourth consecutive shutout period, with 15 saves so far today. Less than eight minutes left in the period now.
Penalty on Kings center Jarret Stoll for boarding with 7:24 remaining.
Blackhawks on the attack but Kings defenseman Drew Doughty clears the puck.
Chicago right wing Marian Hossa goes to the net, but he's denied.
Chicago’s defenseman Nick Leddy blasts a shot from the blue line, no damage there.
The power play is over.
Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell is credited with the third goal.
Kings on the attack and center Tyler Toffoli takes a shot that is stopped by Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.
Blackhawks center Michal Handzus wrists a sharp shot to beat an obviously fatigued Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to the right, giving Chicago a 4-0 lead with 10:40 left in the period.
Will Kings Coach Darryl Sutter move Quick out of goal? Yes. Jonathan Bernier replaces Quick.
Kings forward Jeff Carter steals a pass, rushes toward Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford but doesn't get off a shot.
Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp misses a shot.
Sharp fires another shot, teammate Bryan Bickell collects it and knocks the puck backhanded as Kings defensemen Robyn Regehr and Drew Doughty also swipe at it in front of Quick.
Those sticks make contact -- perhaps Regehr’s was the most impactful -- and the puck slides under Quick’s legs for a 3-0 Chicago lead.
Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell still has 1:36 left to go in the penalty box to start the period.
The Kings’ power play has scored one goal in its last 11 chances. Center Anze Kopitar misses, hitting the outside of the net.
The Kings labor trying to move the puck across center ice.
The power play is dead, Chicago now 25 for 25 in killing them at home this postseason.
A turnover in front of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is knocked away by the goalie.
The Kings lead in shots on goal, 14-10.
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford gets a bit lazy before moving a puck from behind the net, almost turning it over and getting burned.
Kopitar knocks Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa to ice.
Chicago center Jonathan Toews can’t find the handle as he moves toward Quick.
Blackhawks left wing Patrick Kane fires a shot that misses. Penalty on Kings forward Dwight King for tripping Kane before that shot, first power play for Chicago with 14:32 left in the period.
First period (Blackhawks 2, Kings 0)
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick knocks down another shot by Chicago left wing Patrick Sharp.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene later shoots high.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford saves a goal. It comes on a crazy bounce from a pass by forward Jeff Carter that center Tyler Toffoli catches up to and gets his stick on it just as Crawford meets him after leaving the crease. Big moment for the goalie.
Less than two minutes remain in the period.
Chicago right wing Marian Hossa scoots a pass back to defenseman Brent Seabrook, who fires a low shot that beats Quick to his right and gives Chicago at 2-0 lead with 50.4 seconds remaining in the first.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is down after colliding with Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell, who is penalized for tripping Doughty.
End of first: it's the Blackhawks over the Kings, 2-0.
Kings defenseman Slava Yoynov slaps a long-distant shot that Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford covers.
Chicago left wing Brandon Saad weavs through defenders and gets a clean shot that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stops.
The Blackhawks pressure Quick on shots by defenseman Duncan Keith and others, but Quick holds his own.
Chicago left wing Patrick Kane is bullied into the boards by two Kings.
Kings center Brad Richardson should’ve drawn a penalty when tripped by a Chicago stick.
The Blackhawks have a chance for a two-on-one breakaway but come up empty.
Kings forward Kyle Clifford gets off a clean shot that Crawford blocks and no one follows. the Kings then work for another shot.
Now there’s a penalty on Chicago with 6:08 left, cross-checking on defenseman Brent Seabrook.
Voynov fires a shot wide left. center Anze Kopitar also misses the net on a shot. Doughty shoots low, Crawford saves it. Trying for three consecutive shutout periods, wth less than five minutes left in the period.
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez shoots hard, but a Blackhawks defenseman knocks it down.
The penalty is killed, Chicago a perfect 24 for 24 at home.
A strong shot by left wing Patrick Sharp is gloved by Quick.
Kings forward Kyle Clifford had a good look at the goal, with defenseman Robyn Regehr following, nearly scoring via a wraparound try during the first five minutes.
Kings left wing Dustin Penner then misses a high shot.
Center Trevor Lewis steals a puck for the Kings. He fires a shot, but Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford covers it.
Kings captain Dustin Brown blasts Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith into the boards as the Kings have started out as the aggressor.
Brown shoots off Crawford’s pads.
The early 1-0 deficit has added obvious urgency to the Kings’ situation, considering they scored just once -- in the first period -- in Game 1.
Defenseman Drew Doughty follows shots by Kings’ teammates Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli from the blue line and Crawford grabs it with 11:23 remaining in the period.
Chicago’s star winger Marian Hossa told NBC Sports in a pregame interview that the Blackhawks, who cruised to the NHL’s best regular-season record, plan “to play with all kinds of intensity and speed.”
The Kings likely will try to take a more aggressive approach at the Chicago end after being outshot significantly in Game 1.
Robyn Regehr did start at defenseman for the Kings after being struck by a puck in warmups.
A loose puck on the Kings’ end is gathered by Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and he fires a shot from six feet that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick knocks down.
Chicago center Andrew Shaw scores less than two minutes into the game, beating Quick on a low shot 1:56 into the game. The goal was set up by a pass from defenseman Nick Leddy to winger Viktor Stalberg, who backhanded a pass to Shaw.
Shaw’s shot deflected mildly off Kings’ center Trevor Lewis, deceptively sliding past Quick for the 1-0 lead for the home team.
The Kings seek to gain a road victory tonight in Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at Chicago’s United Center.
The host Blackhawks won the opener, 2-1, on Saturday night behind two second-period goals and steady goaltending from Corey Crawford.
The Kings are now 1-6 in road playoff games this season, after dropping only four games in all during their run to the 2012 Stanley Cup championship.
The Blackhawks have killed all 23 opponents’ power plays at home this postseason and 42 of 43 overall.
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr was struck in the head by a puck during warmups today, and his status to play is uncertain.
Kings center Mike Richards and defenseman Jake Muzzin, who were both subjected to hard hits in Game 1, were held out of the Game 2 lineup, with Tyler Toffoli and Alec Martinez taking their places.
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