CHICAGO -- If the Blackhawks like goaltender Anton Forsberg they certainly have an odd way of showing it. Of Forsberg's six starts entering Sunday, the Hawks won only one and lost three in overtime or a shootout. On Sunday, the Hawks wouldn't give Forsberg any kind of a cushion.
He had to be perfect. He was for over 49 minutes, but being very good wasn't good enough.
Despite a valiant effort from Forsberg in relief of injured starter Corey Crawford, the Hawks fell to the Kings 3-1 at the United Center as they conclude an exhausting stretch of five games in seven days 1-2-2.
Again Forsberg, who had 21 saves and allowed just one goal, played well enough to get a win, and again the Hawks failed to get one.
Christian Folin scored the deciding salvo 9 minutes, 29 seconds into the third period when he shot from the point fluttered through traffic in front of the net and found its way past Forsberg. Dustin Brown added an empty-net goal at 17:57 to provide some needed insurance given Jonathan Toews scored for the Hawks at 18:14 to make it interesting. Then Anze Kopitar swung the final hammer with another empty-netter at 19:08.
You might forgive the Hawks for running on fumes given their recent busy stretch, which included an unusually late 8 p.m. puck drop in Dallas on Saturday night. They certainly looked worn down in the first period, when they registered just three shots on goal despite having two power plays and part of a third. There were a couple of near misses -- Brandon Saad fired high on a clean look from the slot, and Nick Schmaltz airmailed a perfect setup from Patrick Kane on a 2-on-1.
But the good news for the Hawks was that Forsberg was steady in net as he makes his second start in as many nights for the injured Crawford. Forsberg stopped seven shots in the first period. The second period was a better one for the Hawks as they had 15 shots on goal. Schmaltz nearly put home a rebound on a rush chance and would have if not for a hooking penalty from Kopitar.
Defenseman Cody Franson had his shot deflect off the skate of Saad and then hit the post. But the Hawks did control play for the second 20 minutes and outshot the Kings 15-6.
But the third period belonged to the Kings and so did the game.
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