Hawks end trip with 2-1 win at L.A.
Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 1:12 AM
The Chicago Blackhawks
broke even on their annual "Circus Trip."
scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Andrew Brunette
also found the net and Duncan Keith
had two assists, leading the Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings
on Saturday night at Staples Center.
, 4-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average in four career starts against the Kings, made 25 saves after posting a 6-5 victory down the freeway at Anaheim on Friday. It was the first time he started on consecutive days since splitting a home-and-home set against the Dallas Stars to open the season.
The Kings lost to the Blackhawks for the seventh straight time and fourth in a row at home. Jarret Stoll
ended a 17-game goal drought and Jonathan Quick
stopped 25 shots. Mike Richards
' goal-scoring streak ended at five games.
"Holding them to two goals is good, but scoring just one goal is not good," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We need to be much better getting the puck to the net. We had four or five good looks and it's just not going in."
Toews, who came in leading the NHL with a 61.8 winning percentage on faceoffs, put Chicago ahead 2-1 with 3:22 left in the second on his 13th goal after winning a clean faceoff against Richards deep in the Los Angeles end.
The puck went back to Keith, whose long, screened wrist shot hit Viktor Stalberg
and went wide of the left post. But Toews was right there to get the carom off the end boards and slam it home behind Quick, who stuck out his right leg too late. It was the second straight game-winner and fourth this season for the Blackhawks' captain, who had two goals and three assists in the win over the Ducks.
"You can't ask for anything easier than that," Toews said of his goal. "It bounced off the wall and I was there to put it in. In some ways this was our best game on the trip. All around we played a good game."
Chicago, 9-0-1 when scoring first, got the jump on the Kings at 3:08 of the opening period when Brunette scored on a wraparound. They missed a chance to make it 2-0 midway through the second period when Stalberg missed the net on a 2-on-0 break with Kane.
The Kings tied it at 12:02 when Matt Greene
took a shot from the right point that was blocked by Keith but came right to Stoll, who fired a 25-foot wrister past Crawford's glove for his first goal since Oct. 18.
That was all the offense the Kings could muster despite facing a team playing its third game in four days.
"We had our share of chances but we couldn't bear down," Anze Kopitar
said. "A couple of times the puck was just laying around there and we couldn't quite get it in there. It's tough, but we can't feel sorry for ourselves."
The Blackhawks finished 3-3-0 on their annual "Circus Trip." They won't play consecutive games on the road again until they go on a franchise record-tying nine-game trip that runs from Jan. 31 through Feb. 18 and spans four time zones. The only other nine-game trip in the franchise's 85-year history was in 1955-56 -- during the Original Six era, when all six teams were within a 987-mile radius.
"We learned a lot," Toews said. "We're excited to go home now."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report