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Too many penalties prove detrimental to Blackhawks

KINGS 4, Blackhawks 3

BLACKHAWKS 2 0 1 — 3

Los Angeles 1 2 1 — 4

First Period—1, HAWKS, Toews 7, 5:26 (sh). 2, Los Angeles, Voynov 2 (Carter, Doughty), 6:16 (pp). 3, HAWKS, Toews 8 (Rozsival, Hossa), 13:19. Penalties—Handzus, HAWKS (concealing puck), 4:40; Martinez, LA (delay of game), 9:51.

Second Period—4, Los Angeles, Carter 8 (Pearson), 8:08. 5, Los Angeles, Toffoli 6 (Carter, Mitchell), 14:19. Penalties—Pearson, LA (high-sticking), 11:54; Williams, LA (high-sticking), 15:03; Los Angeles bench, served by Williams (too many men), 18:10.

Third Period—6, Los Angeles, Doughty 2 (Muzzin, Williams), 11:57. 7, HAWKS, Sharp 3 (Leddy), 19:55. Penalties—Leddy, HAWKS (hooking), 1:31; Rozsival, HAWKS (high-sticking), 9:55.

Shots on Goal—HAWKS 10-10-7—27. Los Angeles 10-4-18—32.

Power-play opportunities—HAWKS 0 of 4; Los Angeles 1 of 3.

Goalies—HAWKS, Crawford 9-6-0 (32 shots-28 saves). L.A., Quick 10-7-0 (27-24).

Referees—Brad Watson, Steve Kozari. Linesmen—Steve Barton, Pierre Racicot.

A—18,374 (18,118). T—2:29.

Updated: June 26, 2014 6:52AM

LOS ANGELES — As often is the case when the Blackhawks are in a bind, special teams were the culprit in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings that put them in a 2-1 series deficit in the Western ­Conference final.

“Probably the story of the game again was us taking too many ­penalties,” defenseman Duncan Keith said after the Kings scored two goals as a result of Hawks penalties. “They’ve got a good power play. We have to stay out of the box.”

“Our power play didn’t help us. I thought it was the difference in the game,” coach Joel Quenneville said after the Hawks went 0-for-4 on the power play, with three shots on goal, in Game 3. “We had generated enough in the second period to put ourselves in a good spot. We not only didn’t generate much, but we lost momentum off those power plays.”

Frustration seemed to set after the Hawks lost a second-period lead for the second consecutive game. Their penalty-killing units have been outstanding in the postseason, ranking second in the NHL overall (46-of-52, 88.5 percent). But with the Kings scoring five goals as a result of power-play opportunities in the last two games, Keith was adamant that it was a discipline issue.

“There’s no other way to put it. We have to stay out of the box,” he said. “It’s frustrating. We’ve talked about it. They’re penalties we can’t take. I know sometimes there are penalties you have to take. Sometimes it’s an accident. But they seem to be scoring on the power play. They’ve got a lot of good players — [Marian] Gaborik, [Anze] Kopitar, [Mike] Richards, [Jeff] Carter, [Drew] Doughty. We might want to just stay out of the box.”

Keith sees it as a fixable issue.

“We know better,” he said. “Just do the job, stay out of the box — everybody; me, too. I’ve taken penalties throughout these playoffs. We’ve just got to stay out of the box.”

The Hawks benefitted initially from their first penalty. With ­Michal Handzus in the box for concealing the puck, ­Jonathan Toews scored a short-handed goal. But Slava Voynov countered with a power-play goal to tie the score 1-1.

“I shouldn’t do that,” Handzus said. “It’s a penalty. I shouldn’t touch the puck like that.”

Nick Leddy was called for hooking and Michal Rozsival for high-sticking. Drew Doughty scored two seconds after ­Rozsival’s ­penalty expired to give the Kings a 4-2 lead with 8:03 left in the third period.


Twitter: @MarkPotash

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