Presented By Myers

LOS ANGELES – The Blackhawks have usually come away with a winning record on these Circus Trips. But their last one, not so much.

The schedule may have caught up with them; it was a busy one, and they were outshot and outskated plenty in their 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Anyway, folks, another Circus Trip is in the books and we’re outta here. So as we scurry to catch that redeye flight, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to the Kings.

1. Big challenge won. The Kings looked to be off to a great start barely a minute into Saturday’s game. But upon further review, Tyler Toffoli’s slick backhand shot didn’t count because line-mate Tanner Pearson shoved Niklas Hjalmarsson into the net. Coach Joel Quenneville challenged for goaltending interference and won. The Kings still outshot the Blackhawks terribly in the first, but they didn’t lead at the end of it.

2. Scott Darling did his best. The Blackhawks have been thankful for their goaltending all season, and for good reason. It’s been outstanding. On nights like Saturday, with the Blackhawks playing their second game in as many nights, they were leaning on it that much more. Darling played well, giving the Blackhawks a chance. He was big in the first period, when the Kings outshot the Blackhawks 13-4. But he didn’t have enough help.


3. Power play proves futile. The Blackhawks had three consecutive power plays (two in the second period and another 1:55 into the third) but couldn’t do much on them. They had just one shot on the first, zero on the second and appeared to be waiting for the perfect opportunity on the third. They didn’t get it.

4. Kings do it in overtime. The Kings were 4-0 in overtime entering Saturday’s extra frame. They came up empty on the 59 seconds of power play to start that overtime, but Jeff Carter saw that they improved to 5-0. Let’s face it: it wouldn’t have been a true Blackhawks-Kings matchup if they didn’t log a little extra time, right?

5. It all caught up with them. Did the Blackhawks hit the Circus Trip wall? It’s possible. Saturday marked their sixth game in the past nine days, including their second in as many days. They were also missing Jonathan Toews for the second consecutive game. It’s been a long trip. The Blackhawks managed a 3-3-1 record on it but it looked like they ran out of gas at the end.