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Kings suffer a third-period freeze-out by Blackhawks

Chicago gives up only two shots on goal while L.A. has no takeaways and four giveaways in the last period of a 3-2 loss in Game 4.

June 06, 2013|By David Wharton and Andrew Gastelum

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There was no getting away from the statistics, the numbers that doomed the Kings in the third period.

Two shots on goal. No takeaways. Four giveaways.

Facing questions about their 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night, the players did not have a whole lot of answers.

"I don't really know what it was in particular," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "There's just no way we're going to win that third period if we only get two shots."

Time and again, the Blackhawks made it tough to get started.

"I think they were just moving the puck north and dumping it in, making us come 200 feet," Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "When we did get it in the zone, we thought we had some opportunity, but we just weren't able to generate enough shots on the goalie."

The Kings' last big chance came with 4:27 remaining as Chicago winger Michael Frolik went to the penalty box for high sticking.

For much of the next two minutes, the Kings circled Chicago's goal, unleashing shots. The Blackhawks are not especially effective shot blockers, ranking last among the remaining playoff teams, but they kept getting in the way, keeping the puck from reaching goalie Corey Crawford.

"We've got to shoot the puck as hard as we can, and if they're going to keep going down on one knee, eventually one's going to catch them in a spot where it hurts," Doughty said. "Hopefully, the next time they don't want to go down and we can find that lane."

Postseason debut

Chicago defenseman Sheldon Brookbank saw his first action of the postseason, called upon after the NHL suspended Duncan Keith for one game.

Brookbank played a dozen shifts, amassing almost seven minutes of playing time. He was on the ice for both of the Kings' goals, finishing with a minus-2 rating.

"Personally, I don't think I had a great game," he said. "Had a slow start but the win was the most important thing."

Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville was a little more generous in his assessment. "It's good to see Brooksy come into the lineup," he said. "The guys love to see him on the ice."

Transition error

The game-winner for Chicago, a laser shot from Marian Hossa that flew past an outstretched Jonathan Quick, started with a pair of mistakes by the Kings.

They were trying to push the puck up ice but gave it away in the neutral zone. This misstep coincided with a line change at the wrong time. A similar thing happened earlier in the evening.

"That's the one thing [Coach Darryl Sutter] has been hard on us for right now," Doughty said. "We made turnovers, and they came back down on odd-man rushes and scored."

It is a problem that players said will need to be remedied before Game 5 at the United Center on Saturday.

"They're a good team in transition," Quick said. "We've got to take that away."

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