Kings: Quick's shutout ends skid vs. Blackhawks
December, 28, 2011
By Dan Arritt | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJonathan Quick posted his league-leading fifth shutout of the season in the Kings' victory at Chicago.Kings 2, Chicago Blackhawks 0
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick recorded his league-leading fifth shutout of the season and L.A. ended a six-game losing streak against the Blackhawks, winning for the first time in regulation at United Center since March 23, 2007.
THE STAT: The Blackhawks came into the game with the best record in the NHL and leading the league in goals scored, but they were shut out for the fourth time this season.
TURNING POINT: Seconds after killing their third penalty of the game, a scramble ensued in front of the Chicago net with the Kings’ fourth line on the ice. Colin Fraser kept the puck alive with a sweep of his stick while falling to the ice, Kyle Clifford flicked the puck out of the grasp of Chicago goalie Corey Crawford as he was trying to cover and Trent Hunter swept in and flicked the puck high into the net for a 1-0 lead with 7:53 remaining in the second period. The fourth liners played well throughout, even earning regular ice time in the third period. Fraser, Clifford and Hunter finished with some of their highest ice-time totals of the season.
HOT: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty assisted on the second goal, his fifth straight game with at least one assist, tying his career-high point streak. Doughty took a shot that was blocked back to him. He shot at the net again and the puck was deflected to the side, where Justin Williams took a whack. The rebound came out again and Jarret Stoll was there to poke it back in for a 2-0 lead 1:16 into the third period. Williams started the scoring play by winning a puck battle behind the net against Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.
NOT: With the Kings leading by a goal midway through the second period, Mike Richards had a chance to give his team a cushion when he was awarded a penalty shot. He tried a backhand attempt, but Crawford swept the puck away, dropping Richards to 0-for-7 in his career on penalty shots.
GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Darryl Sutter, in just his second week on the job, is getting more players involved on the penalty kill. Clifford, Fraser, Stoll and Dustin Penner were part of the plan and the unit didn’t skip a beat, killing all four power plays by the Blackhawks. The Kings have killed 67 of the last 70 man-advantage situations. By using third- and fourth-line players on the penalty kill, Sutter kept the top-tier guys fresher down the stretch.
BAD MOVE: As the Kings were scrambling late in the third period to protect their two-goal lead, Kings captain Dustin Brown committed a highly unnecessary holding penalty away from the play with 4 ½ minutes remaining. The Kings killed that penalty too, and then it was Chicago's turn to shoot itself in the foot, getting called for too many players on the ice while Crawford was pulled for an extra attacker.
NOTABLE: A number of the Kings have their father’s on the trip. … Richards, Stoll and Anze Kopitar got blown out in the faceoff circle in the opening period, losing 12 of 15 drops but came back to win 10 of 15 in the second period, when the momentum switched in favor of the Kings. … The Kings improved to 3-0-1 under Sutter. ... Crawford lost for the first time in five career starts against the Kings. ... Kopitar extended his career-long goal-less streak to 16 games.
UP NEXT: Thursday at Winnipeg, 5:30 p.m. PT.