CHICAGO—All good things must come to an end for the Kings. The Chicago Blackhawks had what it took to shut down the Kings lucky streak. Three goals in the first was enough to hand Los Angeles their first loss in seven games in a 3-1 loss at the United Center on Sunday. Chicago’s first line scored with Blackhawks rookie netminder Antti Raanta who held the Kings to 22 shots on net.
After winning their sixth in a row Saturday night, the Kings gave Jones the night off to put Scrivens in net for the first time in over a week. He wouldn’t be able to hold off the surging Blackhawks who are first in the Central Division as they scored while shorthanded during LA’s first power play. Marian Hossa notched his 14th on a shot that was set up by captain Jonathan Towes who stole the puck from behind the Kings net to catch Hossa in front.
Kris Versteeg scored his sixth of the season four minutes later on a 2 on 1 rush with teammate Michal Handzus where a fake pass turned to a wrist shot high over the shoulder of Scrivens for a 2-0 lead. Chicago managed to score on the second of their three chances on the extra man with Patrick Sharp scoring on an open net for his 16th of the year. Duncan Keith recorded his 28th assist of the season which ranks third best in the NHL. It took 10 shots to gain a sizable lead over the quick cooling Kings who shot just six in 20 minutes.
The second period saw little action on advantages for Los Angeles as they were outplayed during a majority of the time with Alec Martinez handingChicago their third man advantage of the night. The Blackhawks failed to increase their grip on the game, but still down 3-0 put the Kings in a do or die situation to open the third.
Chicago gave Los Angeles their second power play of the game, but their offense was still off pace. A moment of hope shined briefly for the Kings asMartinez scored his second of the season to cut Chicago’s lead by two.Martinez’s shot from behind the faceoff circle went untouched at the hands of Raanta late in the third. It would the lone goal the Kings would see for the night as they were held to six shots to end the week with a loss.
Scrivens faced a barrage of shots totaling 40 with 37 stopped. It gave him his third loss and first since November 30, finishing with a .925 save percentage. The Kings can head back to Staples Center for a four-game homestand before breaking for the Christmas holiday with Edmonton visiting Tuesday.