Blackhawks Beat Kings to Take 3-1 Series Lead
The Chicago Blackhawks snapped the Los Angeles Kings’s 15-game playoff home winning streak on Thursday with a 3-2 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals and snatched a 3-1 lead in the series. They are one win away from reserving a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Chicago proved once again how strong they are with their backs against the wall. They were without Duncan Keith, one of their best defensemen, and that meant other players had to step up in his place.
It was not a good first period for Chicago, and it was easy to see they missed Keith’s tough play. Los Angeles took the lead when Slava Voynov put a slap shot past Corey Crawford only 3:28 into the first period. The goal lit up the Staples Center, but it did not faze Chicago. In fact it gave them more motivation and Bryan Bickell tied the game with his eighth goal of the playoffs with only 2:00 left in the period.
Los Angeles’s Dustin Penner scored 2:12 in the second period, but Crawford shook off the goal and remained excellent the rest of the game. Star Patrick Kane has been a ghost this series, but he came through when his team needed him. He scored his first goal in eight games, his third of the playoffs, at 18:21 when he jabbed a loose puck into the net as he flew over goalie Jonathan Quick.
But it was Chicago’s experienced veteran Marian Hossa who sealed the game for the Blackhawks. Only 70 seconds into the third period his slap shot went past Quick to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. They never looked back and killed a late penalty by Michael Frolik to win the game.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago at 8PM ET on NBC.