In their first game against the Los Angeles Kings since losing to them in the 2014 Western Conference finals, the Chicago Blackhawks won thanks in large part to a player they added after that defeat.
Brad Richards scored two goals in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win, giving Chicago’s bargain free agent addition four points in his last two games.
Kris Versteeg assisted on both of Richards’ goals tonight, another positive sign for a Chicago team that could be even more dangerous if supporting cast members can contribute at a decent clip.
It sounds like Richards doesn’t want to jinx the signs of chemistry from line with Versteeg and Patrick Kane.
While the Kings have stumbled with three losses in their last four games, the Blackhawks are really picking up steam. They’ve won three in a row, six of seven and eight of 10. Maybe most impressively, Chicago went 5-1-0 on their six-game “circus” road trip.
It’s dangerous to read too much into any game, even the first meeting between two Western Conference powerhouses. Still, the Blackhawks have to feel good about their situation, as their record and possession stats indicate that they remain a strong contender. (The Kings, well … they have some work to do.)
Perhaps Richards can push them over the top, just as planned?