The Chicago Blackhawks knew the dangers of allowing a team to climb back into a playoff series.
They Los Angeles Kings wouldn’t be in the Western Conference Finals if they hadn’t climbed out of an 0-2 hole in the first round against the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks also had to climb out of a huge deficit as they found themselves down 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings.
After winning the first two games in Chicago and chasing Jonathan Quick in Game 2, the Blackhawks looked like they had control of the Western Conference Finals. Quick and the Kings bounced back in a huge way in Game 3 and momentum seemed to be in their favor going into Game 4.
Chicago decided to shut the door before the Kings could tie up the series. Chicago had to fight back the entire game, as the Kings took an early one goal lead and then had a 2-1 lead in the second period. It wasn’t until Marian Hossa netted a shot in the third period that the Blackhawks took the lead in the game. That was all Corey Crawford needed as he blocked 19 of the 21 shots he faced in the 3-2 Chicago win.
Perhaps the most amazing stat of the night is that Chicago held the Kings to only two shots on goal during the third period. The game was tied after the second intermission, but the Blackhawks stepped up and seized the opportunity. Hossa scored 70 seconds into the frame, which wound up being the game-winner.
The loss was the first home loss for the Kings in the postseason, and it put the defending champions on the brink of elimination. The Kings have a couple of days to try and figure out how to get the puck past Crawford, or their season will be over.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ice, the Blackhawks have to figure out how to stop the Kings from doing the same thing they did to the Red Wings. The Kings have shown they won’t give up, and Quick seems to play better and better when the pressure is greater. For the Kings, that pressure has never been greater than it is right now.