LA Kings Blake Lizotte

Despite outplaying and outshooting the Blackhawks, the LA Kings dropped a frustrating 2-1 game in overtime on Thursday night.

Scoring

1st Period

No Goals

2nd Period

CHI – Jason Dickinson (4), Assists: Caleb Jones (6), Filip Roos (2)

LAK – Blake Lizotte (3), Assists: Arthur Kaliyev (4), Sean Walker (1)

3rd Period

No Goals

Overtime

CHI – Jonathan Toews (7), Assists: Jake McCabe (3), Andreas Athanasiou (3)

Three takeaways from the contest:

Lizotte tallies goal No. 3

Thursday’s game was not good by any means. The first period provided very little action. Chicago opened the scoring in the middle frame, as Caleb Jones’ shot from the blueline was re-directed by Jason Dickinson into the back of the net.

Less than four minutes later, the Kings evened the score at one goal apiece, with Blake Lizotte tallying his third goal of the year off a beautiful pass from Arthur Kaliyev on a play in transition.

“When they’re playing and they’re playing well, they’re very trusting line and they can play against anybody, at any given time, in any zone. We haven’t seen enough of that from that group and tonight, they did a much better job,” head coach Todd McLellan said of the fourth line after the game.

Nothing doing on the powerplay

The Kings powerplay unit has been significantly better than last year. But it’s also fair to say that it couldn’t get any worse. That said, Los Angeles had tallied a powerplay goal in five straight games and seven of their last eight.

There weren’t too many penalties in this one, just two powerplays for the Kings and only one for the Blackhawks. However, Todd McLellan‘s club registered exactly zero shots on goal in either powerplay opportunity.

It looked like LA would have a four-minute powerplay in the second period, but the high-sticking call was overturned after officials deemed that Arthur Kaliyev lifted the opponent’s stick into Blake Lizotte’s face.

Questionable decision in overtime

Coming into the night, the Blackhawks were the No. 1 team in faceoff win percentage anchored by Jonathan Toews and Max Domi, who were well above their career norms. The Kings brought them back down to earth, dominating the faceoff circle.

Which raises the question: Why was Viktor Arvidsson going up against Jonathan Toews in overtime?

The Blackhawks won the faceoff and pushed the puck up-ice. While the Kings ultimately regained possession of it, a costly turnover by Kevin Fiala in the Los Angeles defensive zone led to the decisive goal.

Would that play have happened regardless? Possibly. But possession is key in overtime. It didn’t make much sense to put Arvidsson out there in the faceoff circle when Phillip Danault won over 70 percent of his draws and Blake Lizotte over 66 percent of his.

There had to have been a better option to give the Kings a fighting chance in the offensive zone.

“The NHL is all about winning games and they all balance out at the end but I thought tonight we may have deserved a better fate but we didn’t get it. The process part was one that, we’re not happy with, but we’re pleased to see process,” McLellan added.

The LA Kings return home to host the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

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