Hockey / Sports

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) denies the Los Angeles wing Marian Gaborik (12) with help from Jonathan Toews (19) in the first period of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Blackhawks dazed and confused as their gameplan crumbles

CHICAGO -- After the game, goaltender Corey Crawford sat stonily at his locker.

It was difficult for him to remember how many goals the Kings had scored. The third period was like a blur by then.

"It compounded," he said. "It's too many. It's going to be tough to win a hockey game when you give up that many goals in a short amount of time. You'll definitely lose a hockey game giving up that many goals in one period."

The scoreboard testified that the Blackhawks had lost 6-2 to the Kings on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. It also reflected lost momentum as the 1-1 series heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Saturday.

Crawford had not given up more than four goals in any of the Hawks' 13 playoff games this season before the Kings tallied six straight on Wednesday. Five of those goals came in an out-of-control third period at the United Center as the Hawks' penalty-killing unit left Crawford without much help.

"It just seemed like they got better," Crawford said. "Once that team gets a lead, they're pretty good with the lead."

They're pretty good on the power play too.

The Kings took their first lead early in the third period with back-to-back power-play goals by Jeff Carter and defenseman Jake Muzzin. Carter recorded a hat trick that included an empty-netter.

"We needed a big stop on the second (power play)," Crawford said of the tiebreaking goal. "The first power play, they got one. We needed a big kill, and they got another one that kind of took everything out of us."

Tyler Toffoli scored next, gathering the puck after a high bounce and shooting it past an unsuspecting Crawford. There was speculation that the puck had bounced off the netting behind the goal before Toffoli gave the Kings a 4-2 lead.

"I didn't see it," said Crawford, who stopped 25 shots. "I saw it come off my blocker and go in the air, and then I lost it and I saw it come down. It doesn't matter."

Through two periods, Crawford allowed one goal off 19 shots. Then it crumbled.

"That was a good hockey game for us the first 40 minutes," he said. "A little bit of penalty trouble and they took advantage. That was the game right there."

(c)2014 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

----

BLACKHAWKS


Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus