The Hawks and Kings entered the third period in a 1-1 tie with both teams taking turns controlling the tempo.
Five minutes into the final frame and two power plays later, the Hawks had all the cushion they’d need.
The best part, though, was the way the Hawks smelled blood in the water and suffocated the Kings for the remainder of the game after taking the lead. The Kings mustered a measly 2 shots on net in the third while the Hawks put up 10 and spent the majority of the time in L.A.’s end of the ice.
The Hawks opened the period with a man advantage after Patrick Sharp made a heads-up play to draw an interference call with just a few ticks remaining in the second period.
A minute and a half into the power play, Sharp nicely slowed down the play with the puck at the half-boards. He waited for Troy Brouwer to assume his position in front of the net and then fired a pass to the outside of his blade. Brouwer simply stuck his stick out and the puck re-directed past Jonathan Quick to give the Hawks a 2-1 advantage.
Anze Kopitar went off three minutes later for hooking and the Hawks power play went back to work. Brouwer won a board battle down low, got the puck to Jonathan Toews in front and he slipped a back-hander past Quick to give Chicago a two-goal lead.
It was a feeding frenzy from there. The Hawks added one more goal after a nice cycle from the Kane-Ebbett-Versteeg line. The puck came out to Brian Campbell on the point. He fired a shot towards Quick; Andrew Ebbett was standing off to the side of the net; the puck caught a piece of Ebbett’s shoulder and went right into the empty net.
The Kings never mounted a serious threat the rest of the way.
The first period was a see-saw affair that went back and forth with neither team finding twine. Cristobal Huet and Quick each made some big saves to keep their teams in it.
A minute into the second, John Madden got the Hawks on the board when he snuck past a Kings defenseman and beat Quick with a back-hander between the legs.
Kopitar answered with a goal of his own nearly eight minutes later when he banged home a Drew Doughty point shot.
–Another curious move by Joel Quenneville in the second period. At about the 6 minute mark of the period, the Kings were called for icing. With the Kings third line stuck on the ice, Quenneville answered with the Ladd-Madden-Brouwer line which he was using to shut down the Kings top line of Smyth-Kopitar-Williams.
A minute later after Madden’s line finished their shift, Kopitar’s line found itself matched up against Byfuglien-Toews-Sharp. Like magic, after pinning them down in the defensive zone for their entire shift, Kopitar buried the Kings only goal of the game. That was the last and only time they didn’t see Madden’s line.
–The Tomas Kopecky Top-6 forward experiment lasted a whole 20 minutes. Then, in the second period, Andrew Ebbett rightfully claimed his position as 2nd line center and Kopecky found himself back on the fourth line. Ebbett responded with his first goal (and point) as a member of the Blackhawks.
–Even though he didn’t do a whole heckuva lot tonight, Ben Eager still makes the Hawks 4th line so much better.
*On the Farm*
—Byron Froese was selected to be a member of Team WHL and Shawn Lalonde was selected to play for Team OHL. The teams will compete in the 2009 Subway Super Series which is essentially a sponsored try-out for Canada’s World Junior Championship team. It takes place from November 16 to November 26.
Not surprisingly, Kyle Beach wasn’t asked to be part of the festivities.