Eric Belanger scored on a short-handed breakaway 38 seconds into the game as the Kings bounced back quickly from a 3-2 loss to Detroit in their opener Thursday.
The Kings are still missing injured frontliners Jason Allison, Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller and Mattias Norstrom. Kings center Sean Avery was away attending Thrashers center Dan Snyder’s funeral Friday in Elmira, Canada. The two were roommates in junior hockey.
Norstrom left Thursday’s game with an injury early in the first period, and will miss at least one more game. Allison and Deadmarsh are both recovering from concussion-related injuries, and their status is uncertain.
“Thibault cramped up in the last game,” Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said. “He needed a night off.”
Thibault had eight shutouts last season.
Sutter is hoping Chicago can increase its aggressiveness on offense, as the Blackhawks have 53 shots on goal in two games.
“I’m harping on the same old thing,” Sutter said. “Our team has to be better getting pucks to the net. It’s a way of creating offense,” Sutter said. “Maybe we have to be a little better at it.”
STANDINGS (through Oct. 10): Kings - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Pacific Division. Blackhawks - 2 points, 1st place (tied), Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Zigmund Palffy and Belanger, 2 goals; Ian Laperriere and Jozef Stumpel, 2 assists; Palffy, 3 points; Sean Avery, 6 PIM. Blackhawks - Tyler Arnason, 1 goal; Mark Bell and Ville Nieminen, 1 assist; Arnason, Bell and Nieminen, 1 point; Jason Strudwick, 5 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 10): Kings - Power play: 0 percent (0 for 3), 15th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 71.4 percent (5 for 7), 14th. Blackhawks - Power play: 0 percent (0 for 3), 15th (tied). Penalty killing: 100 percent (7 for 7), 1st.
SEASON SERIES: Blackhawks, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 30; Blackhawks, 2-0. At Los Angeles, Thibault made 33 saves for Chicago.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 1-1-0-0 on the road; Blackhawks - 1-0-0-0 at home.