RECAP: Toffoli, Muzzin score late, Kings rally past Blackhawks 4-3
Jake Muzzin scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:37 to play, Jeff Carter had two goals and an assist, and the Los Angeles Kings roared back in the final minutes to snap their four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
Tyler Toffoli tied it with 6:11 left for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who made a dynamic rally in their first game back after stumbling into the break in ninth place in the Western Conference after losing seven of eight.
Andrew Shaw scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period for the Blackhawks, who had won four straight regular-season games over Los Angeles.
Jonathan Quick made 26 saves, thwarting a huge Blackhawks surge in front of Los Angeles’ net in the final minute.
Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist apiece in the first period for the Blackhawks, who opened a six-game road trip with just their second loss in 10 games at Staples Center. Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots.
Shaw slipped a quick shot past Quick for his ninth goal of the season 2:25 into the third. Toffoli eventually answered with his 13th goal, scoring from the slot to highlight a strong first game back from a six-game absence with mononucleosis.
The game winner. https://t.co/3XlLFW2zo0
— LA Kings (@LAKings) January 29, 2015
Moments later, Muzzin got a shot from the blue line past Crawford with an apparent deflection off the stick of Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson.
These franchises have won the last three Stanley Cup titles and four of five. The Kings eliminated the Blackhawks in an epic conference finals last summer, winning Game 7 in overtime in Chicago with Alec Martinez’s deflected goal off Nick Leddy.
The Kings played their first regular-season game since December 2011 without $69 million center Mike Richards, who was waived on Monday and demoted to the AHL on Tuesday after managing just five goals in the first 47 games.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Los Angeles got a monster performance from Carter, Richards’ longtime teammate in Philadelphia and again in Los Angeles. Carter had just his second multigoal game of the season, along with numerous near-misses and big plays.
Kane put the Blackhawks ahead just 1:58 in with his 23rd goal, but Carter tied it while skating backward after stickhandling through traffic.
Sharp scored a power-play goal off a sharp cross-ice pass from Kane, but Carter tied it again after winning a puck battle with captain Jonathan Toews and wiring a shot over prone defenseman Brent Seabrook.
Attendance tonight was the largest at Staples this season
— Abbey Mastracco (@AbbeyMastracco) January 29, 2015
NOTES: Richards’ streak of 224 consecutive games played for the Kings ended. He is making $7 million this season and is under contract until 2020. … Nick Shore took Richards’ job at center, playing in his fourth career game. … The Kings open their annual Grammys road trip on Saturday, a five-game stretch beginning in Boston. … The Blackhawks are on the road until Feb. 9 while Disney on Ice takes over the United Center.