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Kings blast Blackhawks, fatten Pacific lead

The Los Angeles Kings routed the slumping Chicago Blackhawks, 5-0, on Monday night in a matchup of Western Conference powers looking to put together another run towards the Stanley Cup.

The thought was that, even with the Chicago Blackhawks struggling lately, they’d still provide the Los Angeles Kings with quite the battle tonight.

That ... didn’t come to pass.

Instead, the Kings kept adding to an early 2-0 lead, ultimately beating the Blackhawks by a convincing score of 5-0.

With that, Los Angeles maintains its spot atop the Pacific Division - possibly providing some padding, depending upon how the Anaheim Ducks fare tonight - while the Blackhawks continue to slip.

Jonathan Quick stopped all 32 Blackhawks shots for his fourth shutout of the season and his 41st career goose egg. Corey Crawford, meanwhile, had a tough night.

Quick made some history with that 41st shutout, by the way:

After the Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Kris Versteeg line started off the scoring, other Kings joined in for a good time at their rivals’ expense.

The Kings’ twitter feed seemed pleased:

These stumbles are a concern for the Blackhawks, but perhaps this is just another March swoon before a deep run: