The Chicago Blackhawks got off to a slow start Tuesday night, and now find their lead over the L.A. Kings in the Western Conference final a little less comfortable.
The Blackhawks fell behind the Kings 2-0 by the early stages of the second period in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series, and, after failing to solve Jonathan Quick for the tying goal, eventually lost 3-1. The Blackhawks still lead the series, but only by a 2-1 margin.
The Blackhawks, who had outskated, outhit and outplayed the Kings’ in the first two games of the series back in Chicago, couldn’t duplicate that kind of overall performance on the road.
They had only 10 shots through two periods, but a Bryan Bickell goal late in the second period gave them hope of a possible comeback.
Too little, too late, as it turned out.
“I didn’t like our push back. We’re looking for more from the outset,” Blackhawks’ head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters.
“The last 10 minutes was basically the way we should have started, have that intensity.”
Adding to the challenge in the fact the Kings have won eight consecutive home playoff games this year.
“Shouldn’t really matter whether you’re home or away,” said Quick, who made a spectacular save on Bickell late in the third period to preserve the win.
“You should approach the game the same way. We’ve kind of been forced to win at home just because we haven’t played as well on the road. We don’t put too much thought into the streak or anything like that. Every time we come here, we’re just trying to win one game.
“I’m sure if you asked Chicago that at the beginning of the year about their streak, they’d give you the same answer.”