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Raanta edges Jones in backup battle as Chicago beats L.A.


James OBrien

Both the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings have generally fared well despite losing big-money starting goalies to injuries, but Martin Jones has generated more headlines than his counterpart Antti Raanta.* Raanta stole the spotlight on Monday, however, as Chicago slipped by Los Angeles 1-0.

Brandon Saad’s early first period goal ended up being the only tally of the game, as both netminders did their job tonight:

That’s the first shutout of Raanta’s career and Chicago’s first goose egg of the season.

It was a hard-hitting, tight game as the Kings made life difficult for the Blackhawks (45-30 hits, according to the box score), yet Chicago obviously got the last laugh.

The Blackhawks now have a seven-game point streak (5-0-2) and have mopped up points since Dec. 8 (8-1-2 in 11 games). On the other end, the Kings might worry a little bit about their offense drying up; Los Angeles is on a three-game losing streak in which the Kings have only scored four goals. All three of those contests ended in regulation, too.

(Just imagine if Jones wasn’t winning the goalie battles most nights ...)

* - And with good reason, really, as Jones came into Monday’s match with a whopping .953 save percentage while Chicago might have been carrying Raanta, who had a mediocre .906 mark before tonight’s game.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins