LOS ANGELES — The Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in a shootout at Crypto.com Arena on Thursday.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. Collin Delia made his second start of the season, and it was a memorable one for several reasons. He grew up in Rancho Cucamongo, which is about 40 miles from Crypto.com Arena, and his family was in attendance to see it. He then went out and stopped 43 of 46 shots for a save percentage of .935 and went 3-for-3 in the shootout. His rebound control was a bit shaky but you couldn't have asked for much more from him. He was great.
2. The Blackhawks gave up 34 scoring chances during 5-on-5 action, per Natural Stat Trick. It was their second-highest total of the season.
3. The Blackhawks were outplayed in the first period. They trailed pretty significantly in shot attempts (27-10), shots on goal (12-5) and scoring chances (14-3) and yet still found themselves up 1-0 at the end of the frame. They did a nice job keeping most of the shots to the outside, though; only three of the 14 scoring chances came from high-danger areas.
4. This was a pretty chippy game that escalated towards the end of the first period when Quinton Byfield checked Alex DeBrincat into the boards and Alex Iafallo got up in Delia's grill when crashing the net for a rebound chance. The Blackhawks had 17 hits in the opening frame alone and finished with 35.
5. Patrick Kane's heater in the month of March continues. He opened the scoring by tapping in a ricochet off the boards from a DeBrincat shot and later assisted on DeBrincat's goal to put him at 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in his last 11 games. He easily could've had at least three or four more points, and I'm not exaggerating.
6. Speaking of DeBrincat, he was all over the ice in this game. He scored a goal, added an assist, had seven shot attempts (five on goal), and was seemingly in the middle of every scrum.
7. Sam Lafferty played one of his best games as a Blackhawk on Wednesday in Anaheim, where he logged a career-high 17:33 of ice time. He followed that up with another strong performance in which he found the back of the net, the 10th goal of his NHL career. The hockey gods finally rewarded him.
8. Kirby Dach got rocked in the neutral zone for the second straight night, and it feels like that's happened a lot in his NHL career. He's got to do a better job of keeping his head up.
9. The Kings are a sneaky stout defensive hockey team with an underrated offense. No team gives up fewer shots on goal per game (27.1) or has a better expected Goals Against average (2.53) than them. Don't sleep on the Kings as a potential sleeper team in the playoffs, especially if they can get their special teams in order.
10. Dominik Kubalik was a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season. He has zero goals in his last nine games and one in his last 21. Interim head coach Derek King said before the game: "I think Kuby just needs a little reset, that’s all. I talked to him today, he’s fine. He’s working hard, he’s trying, just things are not going right for him. Sometimes the computer’s not working, so what do you do? You reboot it. When it comes back on usually it solves the problem."