Crazy, No. 8.
And, no, that was not No. 88.
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Before Los Angeles fashioned a crazy third period Wednesday night to even its Western Conference finals series against the Blackhawks at one game apiece, that was Nick Leddy -- No. 8 -- displaying his elite blend of skating and puck skills that not every defenseman boasts.
Leddy's crazy-good, top-shelf backhander that beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to open the scoring in Game 2 at the United Center was oh-so reminiscent of Patrick Kane's goal that No. 88 whipped past Minnesota's Ilya Bryzgalov in the Blackhawks' previous series.
Leddy's up-and-down performance during the playoffs took an upward turn, if just for one dazzling moment, when he put a shot up and over Quick in the opening period. Leddy, who had just hopped onto the ice late during a Blackhawks power play, took a long pass from Duncan Keith and sped in on Quick. Leddy shielded the puck from defenseman Matt Greene and roofed a goal that would have made Kane proud.
Heck, it would have made Wayne Gretzky -- who happened to be hanging out in a Blackhawks suite -- proud.
It would have made Denis Savard and Bobby Hull -- who were chillin' with The Great One -- proud too.
Leddy's second career playoff goal and first this season came with 5:44 left, on the power play, and had the Blackhawks up 1-0 after one period. Not a bad goal for a 24-year-old who was a healthy scratch for Game 3 against the Wild.
In the end, however, the craziest thing that happened was the Blackhawks' third-period collapse. The Kings' 5-goal explosion, which included an empty-netter, resulted in a 6-2 win.
"I don't know if we've seen a game like that all year where we were doing everything right and all of a sudden it was a disaster," coach Joel Quenneville said after his Blackhawks yielded 2 power-play goals in the first 4:04 of the third period.
Another Blackhawks defenseman, Brent Seabrook, had a chance to put the home team up 3-0 with just over seven minutes left in the second period. Seabrook skated in with Kris Versteeg on a 2-on-1, but Seabrook's shot was knocked away by Quick's quick glove, as the Kings goalie moved from his right to left.
"That was definitely a big stop, but situations like that are going to happen," Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said. "We had some big stops the other way around from 'Crow' (Corey Crawford) in Game 1. I don't think you look at it as a play that's going to dictate the rest of the game."
One loss -- even one by four goals on your home ice -- doesn't figure to have a lingering effect on the defending Stanley Cup champs.
"We had some tough, tough losses in St. Louis (overtime defeats in Games 1 and 2), and we rebounded," Versteeg said. "We know what it takes. From day to day, momentum doesn't really carry. We just got to be ready for the start of Game 3 (Saturday night in Los Angeles) and find a way to win in that building."
The Blackhawks won't necessarily need to be as spectacular as Leddy's goal, but they know they need to ratchet up their play.
"They're going to be even better in their own building," Toews said of the Kings. "We got to expect that. We got to reflect on what just happened and be ready to raise our own level of play. I think we're kind of ticked off that we might have let one slip away from us here in our own building, but we can't dwell on it too much. We have to focus on what we can do better."