After a quick trip to New Jersey on Friday night, the Blackhawks returned home on Sunday night to take on their media made up rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have recently found new life with their string goalie Peter Budaj, following the injuries to Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff. With the Kings playing the second of a back to back, the Hawks should have more energy at the start, and hopefully can use that to their advantage. That seems unlikely though, since this is one of those “great six o'clock starts” and the Cubs don't start until seven, so more meatball eyes will be on the Hawks. Thus bad things tend to happen when the meatballs are watching.
Prior to puck drop, the Hawks held a ceremony for Marian Hossa celebrating his recent milestone of 500 career goals. Stick taps to Hoss on a helluva career thus far. Once the game got underway, it was quite obvious the Hawks were ready to go. They set the tone early by pressuring the Kings in their own end. In the opening frame, the Hawks had the chance to bury the Kings, by receiving four power plays, one of which was a four minute, double minor. With all those opportunities, the Hawks could only muster one goal with the extra man. After being outplayed during the period, the Kings only found themselves trailing by one.
In the second period, the Hawks continued to dictate the pace of the game, by generating a lot of chances and keeping play down in the Kings end. The Kings really couldn't get much going on, and the momentum stayed with the Hawks. The Hawks put the momentum to good use, and added another goal just past the midway point of the game to increase their lead to 2-0. As the period drew to a close, the Kings had a couple of chances, but Crawford was there to answer and preserve the Hawks lead heading into the third.
The final period saw the Kings sloppy and tired play continue, that resulted in three more power plays for the Hawks. The Kings threw 13 at Corey Crawford, but the majority of them were of the one and done fashion. In the meantime, the Hawks weathered that storm, and Hossa added an empty net goal on the power play to give the Hawks a 3-0 win. In the end, Corey Crawford was named the game's first star, after his 32 save, shutout performance. Next up for the Hawks is a home matchup with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.