Well, it’s not going so well lately, is it?
The Blackhawks last had a lead in the third period against St. Louis on Wednesday night. Since then, they have struggled offensively, defensively and on the penalty kill.
Two of three struggles re-emerged on Monday night when the Blackhawks faced the Los Angeles Kings. But this isn’t where we break things down. So let’s stop stalling and get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 5-0 loss to the Kings.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]
1. A bad few seconds. The Blackhawks were coming off a great-looking power play when it all went wrong. First, Kris Versteeg scored for a 1-0 lead. Then a whole 18 seconds later the Blackhawks got sloppy and Milan Lucic scored to put the Kings up 2-0. And just like that, the Blackhawks looked like a deflated bunch.
2. No capitalizing following the power plays. Yes, we realize they didn’t score on it on Monday. But the first two featured plenty of shots, and good ones. But the Blackhawks couldn’t generate those strong power-play efforts into good 5-on-5 play after they ended.
3. Searching for chemistry. When the Blackhawks’ second line was scoring in bunches, all was well. Sure, other lines weren’t doing much consistently but it was easier to take when Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane were pacing the offense. Well now the second line is going through the quiet stretch every line has every season, and nobody is stepping up in its place. That is a problem.
4. Jonathan Quick has a very nice night. The Kings’ goaltender was strong from the start and had to be, as the Blackhawks fired five shots on him on their first power play. Quick stopped all 32 shots he saw for his fourth shutout of the season and 41st of his career, the most for a U.S.-born goaltender.
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5. Losing their edge. The Central Division race was always going to be crazy. The Blackhawks knew that. But they’re doing themselves no favors with their inability to capitalize in recent games. They’re 9-10-2 since their 12-game winning streak ended in January. The Blackhawks want to find their game again, no matter who their opponent is. I don't think it matters who you're playing against. “There's still a lot of teams that are working for playoff spots and trying to play really good hockey this time of year,” Jonathan Toews said. “Some of these tough games are tough to swallow, but we'll try and get whatever it is out of our system right now.”