Disciplined Hawks top Kings, stay strong at home
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:07 AM
The Chicago Blackhawks
have rediscovered their winning ways at the United Center. Staying out of the penalty box certainly hasn't hurt their cause.
had a goal and an assist, Corey Crawford
finished with 26 saves and the Blackhawks were assessed just one minor penalty Sunday night in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings
They were penalty-free Friday night in a 4-1 victory over Detroit and have now won six of their last eight on home ice, moving to 10-9-0 at the United Center this season.
"Obviously, it's the way we expect to play, the way we know we can play," Toews said. "Going into every game, we've got to remind ourselves it's much more enjoyable when you play the way we did tonight."
and Fernando Pisani also scored for the Blackhawks, whose defense was sound in front of Crawford. The rookie goalie started for the ninth time in 11 games.
"We had a good feeling after Detroit and were able to carry it," Crawford said. "We played a solid game tonight, definitely kept them to the outside and cleared rebounds."
The Kings got early goals from Kyle Clifford
in the second period and Wayne Simmonds in the third, but dropped into ninth place in the Western Conference with the loss, one point behind the Ducks and two in back of the Sharks and Blackhawks.
"I thought we played a pretty good game, but a pretty good game against these guys is not good enough," Kings forward Anze Kopitar
said. "In this League you've got to play 60 minutes and that second period was not even close to what we need to play.
"In the third period we were all over them, I thought. We had chances. But when you're chasing down, it's not easy especially against these guys."
Simmonds cut the Kings' deficit to one at 1:20 of the third period, two seconds after a high-sticking penalty to Patrick Sharp
expired, chipping a shot over Crawford from the edge of the crease. The Blackhawks didn't take any other penalties and Crawford stopped everything he faced from that point.
Keith's go-ahead goal in the second came just 25 seconds after Clifford had tied the score. The reigning Norris Trophy winner drove a shot from the left point that beat goalie Jonathan Quick
, who was screened by a pair of Blackhawks as well as two of his own teammates.
Pisani's first goal since Nov. 20 extended the lead and held up as the game-winner. Dave Bolland
attempted a centering pass for Bryan Bickell
that slipped beyond his reach and ended up on the stick of Pisani, who was following the play. He rifled a high shot over Quick at the 7:35 mark.
Toews opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period. He fired a low shot from the right circle through a screen and just beyond Quick's outstretched left pad on the short side with 8:30 left.
It was Toews' 15th of the season, but his main focus after the win was on Chicago's defensive play.
"That was a huge part of it," he said. "We were taking away second opportunities and big scoring chances. We've stepped up a little."
Clifford wouldn't be denied his second goal of the season, however, evening the score at 1:34 of the second. Cruising down the left wing, he got behind the defense and used a forehand deke on Crawford before beating him on the backhand.
"That was a real power forward play," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "Taking it right to the hole, that's a brave thing to do and nice hands as he got close to the net."