Blackhawks show ‘no energy, no emotion’ in searing loss to Kings

LOS ANGELES — The Blackhawks edged the Kings by just one goal late Thursday night.

But the tight scoreline belied the true imbalance of the game – at least until a Kings outburst of two goals in 15 seconds midway through the third period matched reality. In reality, the Hawks showed next to nothing in their eventual 4-1 loss.

“We had no energy,” interim coach Derek King said. “We had no emotion in the game. We were frustrated. Guys, everything they were doing, it just wasn’t working. And on top of that, it [Kings] the team came out and they were flying. They’re a desperate hockey team, they needed points and they showed it.

After the first period, the scoring chances favored the Kings, 18-2. Halfway through the game, the Hawks had recorded just six shots on goal. The final stats weren’t much friendlier: the chances of scoring were 42-13, the shots on goal were 36-16. Both matched season lows for the Hawks offensively.

“You’re not going to win a hockey game with six shots,” King added. “And if you do, you start the bus and get out of here very quickly.”

The Kings’ big minute in the third period, with a breakaway goal from Andreas Athanasiou and a 2-on-1 from Trevor Moore, initially looked even more disastrous for the Hawks when goaltender Collin Delia (31 saves) had to be helped off the pitch. ice cream after Moore’s tap-in. But it turned out that Delia just had cramps rather than injuries, King said.

The win further secured the Kings’ hold of third place in the Pacific Division automatic playoffs. They now lead the Golden Knights by five points; the Kings have three more games to play, the Knights have four. The Stars’ loss Thursday to the Flames makes them, not the Kings, the Western Conference playoff team most vulnerable to a charge from the Knights.

The Hawks, meanwhile, went down 26-41-11 with – thankfully – just four games left. They weren’t able to muster much spirit for the second leg of the road in a row.

“The energy level was a bit lower than on a day off or a day in training,” admitted Dylan Strome. “[But] we are all professionals. It’s part of the game. Everyone has to go back to back throughout the season. So that’s how it went tonight.

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