Michael Frolik got a chance to perform with the Hawks’ top line on Monday night, and he took advantage. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks weren’t as fortunate.
Frolik scored his second goal of the season during his second shift of the game, and added another goal in the second period and an assist on Jonathan Toews’ goal in the third. Toews’ goal gave the Hawks a brief lead, but they weren’t able to hold onto it.
That was a theme throughout the final 40 minutes at the United Center. After Frolik’s first period goal held up for almost 20 minutes, the Kings jumped all over the Hawks in the second. Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll scored just over three minutes apart to give the Kings a lead and the momentum.
The Kopitar goal broke a desperate goal drought for the Kings, who had been shutout in their last two games. It also opened the flood gates.
Stoll’s goal was short-handed, and was a shot that Corey Crawford needed to stop. Crawford allowed five goals against 36 shots in the game, the last of which came off a tough bounce.
Dustin Brown shot a puck that appeared to hit Johnny Oduya in the upper back on its way well-wide of the net. The rebound bounced right back to Brown, who was all alone looking at a wide open net. He buried the shot, and gave the Kings the lead for good.
For the Hawks, there were a few bright spots in the defeat. Jimmy Hayes did a better job skating confidently and using his body to create space for Patrick Kane; he created enough traffic to give Kane enough room to to put a gorgeous move on Jonathan Quick for his 17th goal in the second period.
Kane wasn’t asked to double-shift (thanks to Frolik’s effective play on the top line), and skated “only” 21:03 in the game.
Meanwhile, Duncan Keith was credited with three assists and was plus-three on the night. Brent Seabrook didn’t have a pretty night, but also ended the night plus-three. Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson were both minus-three on the night.
Brandon Saad continued his strong play in the absence of Marian Hossa. He was credited with an assist, two hits and two takeaways. He now has 11 assists in 11 games in March, and has at least one point in nine of 11 contests in the month.
Toews won 14 of 26 faceoffs and added an assist to his 16th goal of the season.
For Los Angeles, Kopitar added an assist to his one goal and won nine of 21 faceoffs. Stoll won 14 of 23 faceoffs in addition to his short-handed goal, and Brown added six hits with the game-winning goal.
The Hawks will get a chance to get back in the win column in less than 24 hours when the Calgary Flames hit the United Center ice.