The Chicago Blackhawks Sunday night pushed the Los Angeles Kings to two games away from tee time as they defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champions by a score of 4-2.
According to ESPN, A little bit under two minutes into the first period the Blackhawks got on the board as center Andrew Shaw wristed a shot to back of the net to make it a 1-0 lead. Things took a turn for the worst for the Kings later on in the first period as with just under a minute to go in the period Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook scored to increase the lead to 2-0.
A late period goal usually demoralizes a team. That was exactly the case for the Kings entering the second as the Blackhawks scored two more goals early in the period to increase their lead to 4-0 with 10:40 left to go in the period. After the fourth goal Kings goalie Jonathan Quick got pulled and took a seat on the bench for the remainder of the night.
The big question that lingered after the game was what were the Blackhawks doing that they have been so dominate over the Kings? The answer to that question is simple for Shaw.
“It’s a high-speed game. If we use our speed, we’ll be all right,” Shaw said. “We played our game. That’s the difference. The guys played good. We all competed for each other. We did everything we needed to do, keeping it deep in the zone.”
It may sound so obvious and easy, but it’s really not. The playoffs are pressure packed as one mistake means you could go home. That usually results in teams playing a more defensive style than what they were in the regular season, which gets them in trouble as teams liken the Blackhawks are use to having control of the puck more.
As Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said after the game things aren’t always easy even when you’re doing things right, but now things are going right which have put the Kings two away from tee time.
“We went through a little spurt there in the last series where we were doing the right things but the pucks weren’t going in,” Toews said. “So now we’re getting the results we want. We can do what we’re doing more often. We can do it better as well in the next few games.”
As for the Kings things aren’t looking good. The odds are stacked against the Kings, but like Quick said after game two they got to find away.
“You’ve got to find a way,” Quick said. “They did their job at home. We’ve got to go home and do our job now.”
In the end, if the Kings don’t find away, they will be actually teeing off instead of being two away from tee time which they are at now.