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Kings win fifth straight, but Blackhawks go .500 on ‘Circus Trip’

Vancouver Canucks v Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Jeff Carter #77 of the Los Angeles Kings smiles during a 4-3 overtime shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks at Staples Center on October 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Not that long ago, games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were all about which contender was thriving the most.

Both franchises are still doing a lot of things correctly, yet on nights like Saturday, the two squads feel a little closer to “survival mode.”

In what was sometimes a battle of attrition, the Kings managed to extend their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 overtime victory thanks to Jeff Carter’s clutch tally:

Carter’s nice goal felt like a delayed reward for a Kings team that seemed to exert its will on the Blackhawks early on.

Through the first two periods, the Kings generated a 24-11 shots on goal differential, including a 13-4 edge in the opening frame. Chicago carried the play in the third, but ultimately Los Angeles managed to grind out that win.

It’s not all bad for the Blackhawks, mind you.

By carving out a standings point in this game, they managed a respectable 3-3-1 mark during their “Circus Trip.”

As mentioned earlier on Saturday, the Kings must carve out all the points they can muster right now, as they face a nine-game road trip starting in mid-December.

When they need to dig deep, they could do worse than to think of victories like these, even if they haven’t always been pretty.