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THREE THINGS: Crow's Nest, Debut and Lineup Changes

Three takeaways from Chicago's 4-3 overtime loss to LA on Saturday night

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

LOS ANGELES - The Blackhawks rallied twice to erase deficits but couldn't come away with a victory as they fell to the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3 in overtime, Saturday night at Staples Center.

After Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored with 1 minute, 39 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game at 3-3, Drew Doughty scored with 17 ticks left in overtime to win it for the Kings.

The loss was the Blackhawks sixth in their last seven games as they dropped to 3-6-3 on the season.

"Bottom line is we still didn't play well enough to win that game, so (we're) not going to talk about falling short in overtime," Toews said.

Toews did go on to say that the Blackhawks need to find consistency in their game.

"Whenever we seem to get something, we let it go and take penalties and it's just frustrating," Toews said. "Nothing seems to be consistent right now."

Dominik Kubalik and David Kampf also scored in regulation for the Blackhawks while Matt Roy, Michael Amadio and Kyle Clifford found the back of the net for the Kings.

Jack Campbell made 24 saves for the Kings to out-duel Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (40 saves).

Video: CHI Recap: Blackhawks lose after Toews forces OT

Here are three takeways:


Crawford had an eventful night in goal. After giving up goals to Clifford and Roy in the first 4:29 of the game, Crawford was lifted from the game to undergo concussion protocol.

"I think the ref just thought I was dazed or something," Crawford said. "It was his call so … whatever. I was able to go back in."

Robin Lehner came on in relief and made five saves over the next 5:18 before Crawford returned and stifled the Kings until Amadio's goal in the third and then Doughty's score to end it.

"(I was) just trying to get good feelings out there," Crawford said. "Just play hard and try to get a little momentum going. It was nice of us to tie it late. We get a point out of it. We had a chance to win it, too, in OT. I mean, it's not going to be easy. We just have to keep working hard. Maybe even work a little bit harder."

It was Crawford's first start in goal since Oct. 26 and the veteran dropped to 1-4-1 on the season.

Video: CHI@LAK: Crawford comes up with a series of big stops


Before the game, 19-year-old Adam Boqvist admitted to being a bit nervous about making his NHL debut but the defenseman didn't let it affect his play.

Paired with veteran Duncan Keith, Boqvist was effective at both ends of the ice and finished with one shot on goal, three hits, one block and two giveaways in 15:38 of ice time.

"He was good," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Of course, we were trying to be a bit careful on the road, not starting him in 'D' zone. But I thought he was very good (and) made a lot of plays."

Boqvist was on the ice when Kubalik scored to snap the Blackhawks' 0-for-21 power-play drought in the first period and was also used extensively in the overtime.

"I thought he looked pretty comfortable off the hop," Toews said of Boqvist. "He's obviously a smart player and knows how to be deceptive and buy himself some time and space. I think it's a pretty good showing despite what happened (Saturday night), and we know he's got a ton of potential. Hopefully, he'll keep building off that first game."

Video: Toews on OT loss in LA


Colliton shook up the lineup following the Blackhawks 3-0 loss to the Predators on Tuesday night in what was arguably the team's worst performance of the season.

In addition to Boqvist's debut, Brent Seabrook and Zack Smith returned to the lineup against the Kings. That left Eik Gustafsson, Drake Caggiula and Dennis Gilbert as healthy scratches.

It marked the first time this season Gustafsson was a scratch and Colliton acknowledged the defenseman "can be better."

Gustafsson has four assists in 11 games this season and has at times struggled at both ends of the ice.

"I think I can do much better with the puck and without the puck," Gustafsson said. "Defensively, (I've) got to be harder. With the puck and the power play too, I don't think I created a lot. So I think I need to be better overall."

Gustafsson has been a healthy scratch in the past, sitting out a Dec. 2 game against the Flames last season. He took that benching as motivation and went on to post career highs with 17 goals and 43 assists.

"Of course I'm frustrated, I want to play," Gustafsson said. "But if you look at last year … it might be a good thing, I don't know. But I've got to be better out there, that's all it is."

Colliton hopes for a similar resurgence to Gustafsson's game this time around.

"He responded really well last year," Colliton said. "(It) doesn't mean it's just going to, there's no magic wand that it's just going to happen, but that can be a result sometimes."

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