Jaret Anderson-Dolan scores twice as Kings defeat Blackhawks to end losing streak
“We were better in a lot of areas,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We were tighter, checked well, and for two periods we broke out quickly. If we finished more chances, we would have been in a much more comfortable situation in the end.”
Goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Jonathan Quick struggle as the Kings allow the Nashville Predators to score three unanswered goals in the third period.
Defenseman Ian Mitchell scored his first goal of the season for Chicago, spoiling Copley’s shutout bid with 3:15 remaining. Petr Mrazek finished with 25 saves. The Blackhawks had won three straight and six of their previous seven.
“With their 1-3-1 defense, they were kind of mugging it up on us,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “It’s legal moving interference, and we didn’t have the energy to break through it.”
Anderson-Dolan had an open net for his rebound of Fiala’s shot 9:29 into the game, easily sending it past Mrazek to cap a two-on-one to put Los Angeles up 1-0.
“Obviously that’s one of the easier ones I’ve had, just sitting there for me,” Anderson-Dolan said. “I think we were good defensively and had a lot of O-zone time.”
The 23-year-old made it 2-0 at 6:07 of the second as his soft wrist shot from the left circle befuddled Mrazek as it went by his blocker.
Anderson-Dolan had his first two-goal game, and came in his 84th NHL game. They were the 11th and 12th of his career, further cementing his spot in the lineup after replacing the injured Brendan Lemieux in mid-November. Lemieux has since returned, but Anderson-Dolan’s two way play has kept him in the lineup.
Pheonix Copley has helped save the Kings’ season, but his struggles against the Dallas Stars expose the goaltending issues that are hampering the team.
Copley faced only three shots in the first period, and the Blackhawks barely picked up the pace thereafter, even with two power plays.
“I think everyone was a little frustrated [after the last two games], and we played with a little more attitude and a little more urgency in our game,” Copley said. “I think it was big for everybody.”
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said he expects to sit down with star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, each of whom have no-trade contracts, and agent Pat Brisson within the next two weeks, and no later than mid-February. The trade deadline is March 3.
“To get a sense of where everyone’s at, what they’re feeling, as we approach the [trade] deadline,” Davidson said on NBC Sports Chicago.
Davidson said mid-February was necessary “as a buffer” if either player wants to be moved. Both Kane and Toews are in their last contract year and have a $10.5-million cap hit.
Up next for the Kings: at Philadelphia on Tuesday night to continue a six-game trip.
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.