How does one put that into words?
The Chicago Blackhawks, playing on home ice, were leading the L.A. Kings by a pair of goals late in the second period when the visitors suddenly erupted for six unanswered goals, including five in the third period, in a 6-2 victory to even the Western Conference Final.
It was a stunning loss for the Blackhawks, who had a chance to go up by three goals but were denied on a brilliant save from Jonathan Quick, who made 23 saves for the win.
Joel Quenneville summed it up, as per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times: “I really liked how we played for 38 minutes. We did everything we were looking to do.”
The coach also added: “The way it turned on a dime like that, I don’t know if we’ve seen a game like that. … It turned into a disaster.”
It started off well enough.
Nick Leddy opened the scoring for Chicago in the first period, as he went top corner on Quick with a beautiful backhander on a partial breakaway – just over a minute after the Blackhawks thought they scored but had the goal waved off when a video review showed the puck never crossed the line.
Ben Smith made it 2-0 Chicago and everything looked good for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
But the Kings, after Justin Williams got them to within a goal before the end of the second period, clicked on the power play in the third. Jeff Carter and Jake Muzzin scored goals on the man advantage less than three minutes apart, and just like that, L.A. was in front as opposed to chasing this one.
Carter recorded the hat trick in the third period.
“It just goes to show you what can happen when you take your foot off the gas,” said Patrick Sharp, as per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.