The Kings started a parade to the penalty box in the first period, giving the Blackhawks four power plays in the opening 20 minutes. Chicago only capitalized on one of them, but increased their lead to 2-0 1:40 into the second period on Ben Smith’s second goal of the playoffs.
At the start of the third period, it was the Blackhawks taking penalties they would come to regret.
With the score 2-1, Brandon Bollig was called for interference at 1:14 of the third. Drew Doughty needed only 23 seconds to tie the game. Then 1:13 later, the Blackhawks were caught with too many men and just over a minute later Jake Muzzin cashed in on the power play chance to give the Kings the lead for good:
LA learned their lesson and didn’t spend any time in the penalty box in the final 40 minutes. They would outshoot Chicago 12-6 in the final period, with three of those shots ending up in the Blackhawks’ net off the stick of Jeff Carter, who recorded his second career postseason hat trick.
“To get those two power play early in the third and to capitalize on them was big for us,” said Carter to NBCSN’s Brian Engblom afterward. “You start to feel good about yourself. You start to feel a little better and things started rolling for us.”
The victory was LA’s first this postseason when trailing after two periods (1-6). Having earned a label as closers during these playoffs, the Blackhawks fell to 5-2 when leading after 40 minutes.
Wayne Gretzky was in the house at United Center, which may been a good sign for the Kings. According to NBCSN, the last time LA scored five goals in a period during the playoffs was May 7, 1993, a 7-4 win over Vancouver. “The Great One” netted two that night.
Game 3 is Saturday night at Staples Center.
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