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Blackhawks beat Kings, get point in 15th straight

Published: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 6:00 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery stops Los Angeles Kings' Justin Williams (14) in front of the goal in the first period Sunday at the United Center.

CHICAGO – Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and an assist to help the Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday, extending their season-opening points streak to 15 games.

Patrick Sharp also scored for the Hawks (12-0-3), who matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second-longest season-opening points streak in NHL history. The Hawks are one away from the league record, set by Anaheim in 2006-07, and will try to match the mark Tuesday when it hosts Vancouver.

Mike Richards scored two power-play goals in the third period to pull the Kings within one after the Hawks had built a 3-0 lead.

Hawks backup goalie Ray Emery made 25 saves. He lost a bid for his first shutout in more than three years when Richards connected 56 seconds into the third period.

Emery made back-to-back starts for the first time this season as Corey Crawford missed his second game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Sharp, who led the Hawks with 33 goals last season, ended a 10-game drought without a score.

The Hawks outshot the Kings 37-27, and defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second time this season to end Los Angeles' two-game winning streak. The Hawks won 5-2 in the teams' season opener at Staples Center.

Jonathan Quick started in goal for the Kings after backup Jonathan Bernier was in the nets in Los Angeles' previous two games. Quick finished with 34 saves.

Los Angeles played again without three injured defensemen – Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene and Alec Martinez.

The Hawks were a step faster than the Kings in the first period and held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Seabrook opened the scoring 6:29 in to cap a Hawks' flurry in the Kings' zone, and after Quick had made several in-close saves.

Seabrook pinched down to the low edge of the left circle, and took a pinpoint feed from Duncan Keith who threaded a cross-ice pass from the top of the right circle. Seabrook then slid a shot into an open net before Quick could dive across.

Toews' power-play goal 4 minutes later made it 2-0. Stationed in the slot, Toews first tipped Keith's feed off the right post, but buried the loose puck before Quick could cover it.

Sharp exploited a Kings coverage breakdown and increased the Hawks' lead to 3-0 just 56 seconds into the second period. Quick dropped to the ice to block Toews' stuff-in attempt at the side of the net, but the puck popped into to slot. Sharp was wide open and fired high into the net before Quick could recover.

The Blackhawks were in control for most of the second period and outshot Los Angeles 21-10. But Emery had to make several tough saves late in the period – including in-close stops on Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter – to keep the Kings off the scoreboard.

Richards cut it to 3-1 early in the third. With Brown providing a screen at the edge of the crease, Richards' high shot from the top of the slot sailed past Emery.

Richards' second power-play goal trimmed it to 3-2 with 7:10 left. This time, he beat Emery from the top of the left circle with Brown screening.

The Hawks spent the final 1:04 short-handed after Johnny Oduya was sent off for slashing, and Quick was pulled for an extra attacker during span.

NOTES: Before the game, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford was "progressing" and is day-to-day. When asked if Crawford's condition might be long-term, Quenneville replied, "I don't foresee that yet." Crawford – who has a 7-0-3 record, 1.65 goal-against average and .935 save percentage – has not skated since suuffering his injury, apparently in a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim on Tuesday. ... Anaheim won the Stanley Cup in 2007 after its record-setting points start. Edmonton, which started the 1984-85 season with points in 15 straight, and Montreal, which opened with 14 straight in 1943-44, also won the Cup in those seasons.

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