Kings 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (SO)
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: With his team in need of a victory after two frustrating road losses, Jonathan Quick saved 35 shots in regulation, including a penalty shot, then kept all six shootout attempts out of the net, lifting the Kings to the win Sunday night at United Center in Chicago.
THE STAT: Quick came into the game with two consecutive shutouts against the Blackhawks and blanked them halfway through the game before Marcus Kruger scored with 7:23 remaining in the second period, ending his shutout streak at 174 minutes 29 seconds.
TURNING POINT: After failed shootout attempts by Justin Williams, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Jarret Stoll and Anze Kopitar, the Kings finally put one past Ray Emery when Mike Richards slowed up between the circles and beat him glove side for his second shootout goal in six opportunities this season. Kruger then lost the puck as he drove toward Quick, ending the shootout and the game.
HOT: Brown extended his points streak to eight games with an assist on Slava Voynov’s first-period goal, and Carter scored his fourth goal in his eighth game with the Kings for a 2-1 lead. Stoll was 12-6 in the faceoff circle, helping the Kings to a 42-30 advantage on the draw.
NOT: The Kings blew two more one-goal leads against Chicago. In the last four games, they’ve let eight one-goal leads slip away.
GOOD MOVE: Carter’s goal was the result of some strong work on the forecheck by Richards and rookie winger Dwight King. They combined to force a turnover behind the net and King then made a nice pass to Carter in the slot. He fired the puck through the pads of Emery for the 200th goal of his career.
BAD MOVE: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty was the object of much criticism during the second intermission by the studio analysts for NBC Sports Network, who claimed the fourth-year blue liner wasn't coming close to justifying his $7 million salary cap hit this season. Doughty, coming off a minus-3 effort in the 4-3 loss Friday in Detroit, was on the ice for both of Chicago’s goals, as well as the breakaway penalty by defensive partner Rob Scuderi, which led to the failed shootout attempt.
NOTABLE: With the victory, the Kings leapfrogged San Jose and Colorado and moved into ninth place in the Western Conference standings. They have the same number of points as eighth-place Calgary but lose the tiebreaker because of fewer regulation victories ... L.A. plays five of its next six games at Staples Center and the other in Anaheim. The Kings were on the road for 14 of their last 18 games … Quick improved to 5-7 in shootouts this season after finishing 10-0 a year ago … The Kings killed two more power play, extending their streak of successful kills to 28. On the second power play, defenseman Willie Mitchell broke his stick and had to borrow one from Stoll, who went the next 40 seconds on the penalty kill without a stick.
UP NEXT: Tuesday vs. Detroit at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.