The Chicago Blackhawks are up against it. Adversity is a word that gets thrown around a lot during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and each team competing for hockey’s Holy Grail goes through its share of it.
The Blackhawks, well, they will now need three straight victories to defeat the L.A. Kings and advance to this year’s final series.
Chicago was rattled early, with L.A. getting off to a three-goal lead in the first period. The Blackhawks, defending champs, never recovered, losing by a final score of 5-2. The Western Conference Final series, with the Kings leading 3-1, shifts back to Chicago on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks aren’t about to say this series is over. But the Kings, after going to seven games in each of their first two playoff series this spring, seem to be gaining strength. Not only do they have four players atop NHL scoring in these playoffs, with Marian Gaborik’s 10 goals leading the way, but they’ve gotten strong contributions from their depth players, like Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli.
Meanwhile, Patrick Kane has only one assist in four games against the Kings. That helper came in Monday’s loss. Patrick Sharp has only one goal and one point in this series, and played only one shift in the final five minutes of Game 4.
“We’re still alive in this series. No time to feel sorry for ourselves,” said Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews, as per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.
“We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. We’re the only ones that are going to get ourselves out of it,” added Kane.