Breaking News Bar
updated: 12/15/2013 9:08 PM

Toews leads Blackhawks over Kings

Success - Article sent! close
  • Chicago Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

      Chicago Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

Jonathan Toews set up two of Chicago's three first-period goals, and the Blackhawks cooled off the Los Angeles Kings with a 3-1 victory Sunday night in a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals at United Center.

Rookie Antti Raanta made 21 saves to help Chicago bounce back from a 7-3 loss at Toronto on Saturday night. Marian Hossa had a short-handed score that snapped Los Angeles' NHL-record streak of 18 games without allowing a first-period goal.

Order Reprint Print Article
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp also scored for Chicago. Alec Martinez scored for Los Angeles.

The Kings (22-8-4) had won six in a row and were hoping to complete a perfect four-game trip in the same building where their Stanley Cup title defense ended in June. But the matchup of the NHL's best offensive team and the league's stingiest defense went to the high-scoring Blackhawks, who have won four of five and lead the NHL with 53 points.

Ben Scrivens had 37 saves for Los Angeles in his first start since Dec. 2, keeping the Kings in the game with a handful of nice stops after the sluggish first period. Scrivens and Martin Jones have done a terrific job in goal since Jonathan Quick was shelved by a groin injury last month.

The defending NHL champion Blackhawks (24-7-5) also were without their top goaltender, Corey Crawford. The 29-year-old Crawford is out with a lower-body injury, and it's unclear when he might return.

Raanta has started every game since Crawford went down on Dec. 8. He made his best stop against Los Angeles in the second, sticking his right skate out to turn away Anze Kopitar on a prime opportunity.

Martinez scored his second goal at 16:06 of the third, and the Kings then had a power-play opportunity when Andrew Shaw was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct. But the Blackhawks managed to kill it off.

Chicago defeated Los Angeles in five games in the playoffs last summer, and went on to win the title for the second time in four seasons. The series against the Kings culminated with a hat trick for Patrick Kane in the deciding game, including the decisive score in the second overtime off a pass from Toews.

Toews picked up right where he left off in the first game of his season between two of the NHL's best teams.

First, he won a battle for the puck with Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin behind the Kings' net, and then threw it in front for Hossa's 14th goal at 5:45 of the first. After Versteeg scored on a 2-on-1 break, Toews made a great cross-ice pass to Sharp for a power-play goal that made it 3-0 with 29 seconds left in the period.

Kane picked up his 26th assist on Versteeg's sixth goal. Kane has at least one point in each of his last nine games and 21 of 22 overall.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.