Kings lose again on road
Getting forward Patrick Sharp back in the lineup and gaining a lead helped the Chicago Blackhawks snap their longest winless streak of the season.
Sharp and Martin Havlat each scored two goals, Nikolai Khabibulin made 14 saves, and Chicago defeated the Kings, 4-1, on Sunday to end an 0-3-2 slump.
Sharp skated in his first game after missing 16 with a left knee injury. After opening the scoring during a power play midway through the first period, Sharp helped set up Havlat’s first goal early in the second to put Chicago ahead 2-0.
“I just wanted to come in and play a strong game; not necessarily worry about scoring goals and making plays, but just play hard and with energy,” Sharp said. “Luckily a couple of pucks went in.”
“It was great to have him [Sharp] there,” Havlat added. “His first goal was a beautiful shot. You can see we create more offense with him in the lineup. We need him.”
The Kings (30-32-10) lost their second in a row and remain seven points out of a playoff spot with 10 games remaining. They are 1-2 midway through a six-game trip.
Drew Doughty’s power-play goal with 3:06 left in the third period gave the Kings their only score.
“We played well enough to get by and kept it a close game,” Kings goalie Jonathan Quick said. “We almost pulled off something when we got it to within one goal.”
Said Kings Coach Terry Murray: “In a situation like this, when you’ve got a lot of desperation basically from both sides, Chicago played well. They beat us to pucks.”
The Blackhawks, 4-7-3 in their last 14, opened the scoring for only the second time in their last nine games.
“The biggest thing is we didn’t give up any early goals,” Chicago’s Duncan Keith said. “It’s tough when you fight for the momentum and then give up an easy goal. Tonight we didn’t do that.”
Sunday’s victory moved the Blackhawks (38-22-11) into fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of idle Vancouver.