Blackhawks end Kings streak at home, take 3-1 series lead
No Keith, no problem.
After losing their top defenseman, Duncan Keith to a one game suspension, the Chicago Blackhawks were already in a hole heading into Game 4 on Thursday Night. With a 2-1 lead, the Hawks had the ability to take a commanding 3-1 series lead as the series returns to Chicago on Saturday. But the game would not be easy as the Kings had won all previous playoff home games this season.
The Kings got off to a quick start after Slava Voynov continued his great series with another goal to give the Kings the 1-0. But the Hawks kept their composure despite the one goal deficit.
After going half of the first period scoreless, Bryan Bickell got the Hawks on the board after Jonathan Quick allowed a soft goal on a long wrister by Bickell. The goal would serve as a being confidence booster heading into the second.
However, the Kings took that momentum right back in the beginning of the second. Corey Crawford failed to cover a puck right in front of the net and Dustin Penner tapped it in and put the Kings back ahead. But it was the same story in the second as the Hawks grabbed a late goal.
Patrick Kane, who had been struggling of late, finally got himself on the score sheet when he was able to poke a puck into the back of the net on a shot of Hjalmarsson. The third period was set up at 2-2 and would be a huge turning point in the series, no matter who came out on top.
It was all Blackhawks in the third as they rose to the occasion with a trip to the Finals getting closer and closer. Just over a minute into the third, Michal Handzus made a beautiful pass to Marian Hossa who rifled a shot pass Quick to give the Hawks the go ahead goal.
From there, the Hawks defense took over despite the absence of Keith. They allowed the Kings to get just two shots on goal in the period. A very impressive performance by all defensemen to bunker down with out their former Norris Trophy winner.
The Hawks were able to keep that lead and win the game 3-2 and take a 3-1 series lead, heading back to Chicago on Saturday night with a trip to the Finals on the line.