Well, this game sure turned in favor of the L.A. Kings in a hurry.
The Kings, trailing 1-0 in the Western Conference Final to the Chicago Blackhawks, were down by a pair of goals in the second period, before exploding for six unanswered in a shocking 6-2 victory to take Game 2 and even the series.
With the Blackhawks looking to increase their lead, L.A.’s goalie Jonathan Quick made a spectacular sprawling pad save off Brent Seabrook in the second period, keeping Chicago’s advantage to just two goals. Wouldn’t you know it, but that stop, one for the highlight reel, was also critical to the Kings comeback.
Shortly after Quick made that save, Justin Williams got L.A. back to within a goal after the puck deflected off his skate and past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.
From the NHL’s Situation Room Blog:
At 18:14 of the second period in the Los Angeles Kings/Chicago Blackhawks game, the Situation Room supported the referee’s call on the ice that Mike Richards’ centering pass deflected off Justin Williams’ skate and into the Chicago net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 78.4 “if an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed.” Good goal Los Angeles.
And it was all Kings after that.
L.A. scored five times in the third, including a hat trick from Jeff Carter. His first came on a deflection from a Drew Doughty wrist shot on a Kings’ power play early in the final frame.
The loss ends Chicago’s winning streak on home ice in these playoffs at seven games. The Blackhawks opened the scoring late in the first period on a beautiful backhand goal from Nick Leddy. They upped their lead to two goals when Ben Smith beat Quick on a partial breakaway.
Another day, another University of North Dakota player deciding to enter the professional hockey ranks.
This time, it was 21-year-old forward Luke Johnson who turned pro following his junior year, as he signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
In 43 games with the NCAA champions this season, Johnson scored 11 goals and 21 points, three off his college career high set the previous year.
Johnson will forgo his senior year at North Dakota, bumping the number of players from that program’s junior class to turn pro to four since the end of the season. Keaton Thompson signed with the Anaheim Ducks, Troy Stecher inked with the Vancouver Canucks and Paul LaDue signed with the L.A. Kings.
Senior forward Drake Caggiula, now a free agent, has reportedly narrowed down his list of NHL suitors to six teams.
Brock Boeser, a 2015 first-round pick and coming off an impressive freshman year, will return to North Dakota for his sophomore year, as per Canucks general manager Jim Benning earlier this month.
Perhaps it’s an ominous sign of bad luck to come, but for which team?
Prior to puck drop between the host San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators in Game 1 on Friday, a black cat hit the ice at SAP Center, taking a nervous stroll along the boards.
Not sure exactly where it came from, although it’s possible someone was feeling extra superstitious before the start of this series.
Official update on the really important story of the evening:
The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.
As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.
The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.
Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.
Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.
The Dallas Stars grabbed the all-important first goal in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. And it was agitating forward Antoine Roussel who capitalized in the second period.
Roussel buried a rebound at the end of a pretty passing play from the Stars. Blues goalie Brian Elliott was furious, as defenseman Jay Bouwmeester slid into the crease in an attempt to block the shot.