To say there is bad blood between the Kings and Chicago would be an understatement. In the fourth meeting of the season between the teams Saturday, the first period was filled with hard checks and aggression.
The Blackhawks’ Bob Probert, second in the NHL in penalty minutes, and the Kings’ Matt Johnson needed only 2:04 to continue their seasonlong battle when both dropped their gloves in front of the Chicago bench. No punches were thrown but the saber-rattling brought to mind the game at Chicago on Nov. 17, when Probert waved his stick at Johnson in the final seconds of the Kings’ 4-2 victory.
In the second period, Probert finally got a chance to throw a punch when he knocked down the Kings’ Sean O’Donnell, who was off balance from an elbow to the head by Probert. Probert received a two-minute penalty on the play.
Chicago center Alexei Zhamnov did not play because he returned home Friday to be with his sick 10-month-old daughter.