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Another 2-1 Kings Loss This Postseason
For the sixth time this postseason the Kings lost on the road 2-1, this time to the Chicago Blackhawks. In fact every time the Kings have lost on the road it has been by a 2-1 margin.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Final played out much like every Kings loss on the road: outplayed for 40 minutes before the Kings started to make up ground in the final 20. The Kings were outshot 17-2 in the first period, but there was something different.
After a faceoff win outside the Hawks blue line, Rob Scuderi dumped the puck into zone. Goaltender Corey Crawford tried to pass the puck to Michal Rozsival but instead it got swallowed up by Brad Richardson. A lucky bounce got the puck to Justin Williams who scored on the Kings second shot of the period.
But the Kings were playing with fire. In the second period Patrick Sharp got the Hawks on the board on a second-chance tap-in. Then four minutes later Marian Hossa redirected a shot by Duncan Keith for the 2-1 victory.
The Kings did pick up their play in the final 20 minutes, but it was a case of too-little-too-late.
"I thought we were making progress as we went along," head coach Darryl Stuter said. "
Much will be made of Dave Bolland's hit on Mike Richards in the final minutes of the game.
Jarret Stoll played in his first game since going down with a concussion in Game 1 of the San Jose series thanks to a hit by Raffi Torres. He played 15:14 and recorded a shot on goal while winning 10 of 19 faceoffs.
"I think it showed that he'd been out for a couple of weeks," Sutter commented.