LOS ANGELES The Blackhawks power play has been a source of plenty of angst and frustration, but not goals for quite a while. And on Saturday, its lack of anything was just plain costly.
The Blackhawks went 0 for 6 on the power play but the Kings thrived on theirs en route to a 4-0 victory over the Blackhawks at Staples Center. Its the second consecutive loss for the Blackhawks, who remain in sixth place in the Western Conference.
They were also shut out for the seventh time this season.
Struggling is one thing, but the Blackhawks power play has gone beyond that. The team had seven shots on the six power plays combined; that included one on their 5 on 3, although that was just for 29 seconds. The Blackhawks are now 0 for 39 on the advantage, their last power-play goal coming Jan. 24 against the Nashville Predators. Their last road power-play goal was Dec. 14 against the Minnesota Wild.
Front and center tonight, it definitely hurt us out there, Patrick Sharp said of the power play. They score on their first two and we get a bunch of chances to get back into the game and failed to do it. We didnt generate much momentum from it, a few shots from outside but nothing to be happy about.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook said weve got to work together and do a better job of getting in front of the net, getting our shots from the point as defensemen. Weve got to outwork the (opposing) PK and do it for a full two minutes.
The Kings power play, by contrast, was more than effective with its 2-for-3 performance. Dustin Brown, whos been mentioned in plenty of trade rumors lately, tallied a hat trick with two power-play goals and a short-handed effort.
The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have tried everything to spark their power play to no avail. Different players, different combinations, it doesnt matter.
We lose our team game on account of that, whether it was a shorty or power play ineffectiveness. It was tough watching it, coach Joel Quenneville said. Whether we lost confidence or pace to our game because our power plays been on a tough go, its slowing us down. Our desperation wasnt where we needed it to be.
No, it wasnt. The Kings are on the outside of the Wests top eight looking in, and they played like a team that wants to break into it. Brown looked like he had his personal motivation, doing his best to snuff out trade rumors with his four-point performance.
The Blackhawks are still in the top eight. But they need that desperation as they flirt with falling out of it. Good special teams help any team down the stretch and into the postseason.
Right now, the Blackhawks power play is costing them.
It couldve gotten us back into it. Down 2-0 we had a number of opportunities, Sharp said. There comes a point where you have to stop talking about Xs and Os and goalies making saves. You have to bear down and put one in.