EditorsNote: Tweaks to fourth graf; fixes record in fifth graf; tweaks final two grafs
Drew Doughty scored with 12 seconds remaining in overtime as the host Los Angeles Kings dealt a major blow to the Chicago Blackhawks’ fading playoff chances with a 3-2 victory Saturday.
Playing with a one-man advantage after a late penalty by the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews, Doughty powered in his game-winner from the top of the right circle and through Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford. It was Doughty’s seventh goal of the season.
Austin Wagner and Michael Amadio also scored for the Kings. Amadio’s goal with just over four minutes remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime.
Alex DeBrincat and Erik Gustafsson each scored goals for the Blackhawks (34-33-11), who have 79 points and four games to play. The Colorado Avalanche, who hold the second wild-card spot, have 85 points, and the Arizona Coyotes and the Minnesota Wild are also ahead of Chicago in pursuit of a wild-card berth. All three have four games remaining.
The Blackhawks went 1-1-1 on a key three-game trip to Arizona, San Jose and Los Angeles. Chicago lost for the fifth time in its past seven games.
The Kings ended their two-game losing streak and have won four of their last six games. They remain last in the Western Conference at 29-40-9 (67 points). Only the Ottawa Senators (62 points) are worse in the NHL.
After a scoreless first period, DeBrincat gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 1:38 of the second period, when he skated with the puck through traffic and scored from in front of the goal past Kings goaltender Jack Campbell. It was his 41st of the season and third in the past two games.
The Kings tied the score 1-1 at 16:05 of the second period when Wagner flashed his speed to beat the Blackhawks defense and score to the top right corner of the goal past Crawford. It was Wagner’s 12th of the season.
The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead when Gustafsson scored his 17th of the season at 3:09 of the final period, as he delivered from the high slot after Chicago won a faceoff.
The Kings got even at 2-2 with 4:15 remaining on Amadio’s goal, his fifth. Amadio lifted a shot to the top of the goal from the slot, beating Crawford.
The Blackhawks are headed toward missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, following a nine-year run of consecutive postseason berths, earning three Stanley Cup titles in that stretch.
—Field Level Media