The Chicago Blackhawks erased a two goal deficit in the third period to win 5-3 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Jordan Oesterle opened the scoring for Chicago thirteen minutes into the first frame, burying a wrister past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Then the second period happened. The Kings let slip three unanswered goals past Anton Forsberg (Tanner Pearson, Alex Martinez, Alex Iafallo). Duncan Keith had it particularly hard in this frame, causing two turnovers that led to both the Pearson and Iafallo goals.
A costly four minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct by Drew Doughty in the third proved to be the undoing for the Kings. Artem Anisimov scored on the ensuing power play. Four minutes later, a wristshot from Vinny Hinostroza somehow slipped through Quick’s fivehole, sliding just enough past the goal line to tie the game for the Blackhawks. A penalty on Pearson led to Blackhawks powerplay goal from Jonathan Toews, who scored with 1:58 left in the frame. Patrick Kane sealed the deal with the empty netter with three seconds left on the clock.
The line of Brandon Saad, Toews and Kane, the so-called “nuclear option” for head coach Joel Quenneville, combined for two goals and four assists this afternoon. Toews and Kane both had a goal and two assists. Forsberg had a good outing, stopping 29 out of the 32 shots he faced.
It was a character win for the Blackhawks. Its been a while since I’ve seen the level of compete that they exhibited today. They could’ve just folded when they were down 3-1, but they did not. They met the Kings rush for rush. They kept themselves in the game, evident in the Oesterle shot block during the second period against Anza Kopitar that could have well put the game beyond their grasp.
The season may be well lost, but its good to see that the Blackhawks are still playing with pride. It will be a quick turnaround for them, as they will head down the freeway to face the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow afternoon.