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10 observations: Sleepy second period dooms Blackhawks in loss to Kings

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks opened their three-game road trip with a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday at Crypto.com Arena.

Here are 10 observations from the loss:

1. When these two teams met on Friday at the United Center, the Kings scored three goals in the first eight minutes and four total in the opening frame. It was a much different first period this time around, with the Blackhawks not allowing a single shot on goal for the first 10:49 of action. The Kings had just six shots, and it was a 1-1 game through 20 minutes. Very solid road period for the Blackhawks.

2. The Kings took control in the second period, where they outscored the Blackhawks 3-0. It honestly didn't feel that lopsided but the Kings capitalized on their opportunities, and of course Anze Kopitar led the way with a pair of goals after he scored twice in the last outing, too.

3. Rough night for the pairing of Kevin Korchinski and Jaycob Megna, who were on the ice for all five Kings goals at even strength. Korchinski particularly was frustrated with himself after Los Angeles' third one because he rushed the play. It looked like he felt pressure but he ended up having more time than he thought. Rookie growing pains. He did score a goal late in the third period for the second straight game, so at least he had that.

4. The Blackhawks had a tough night at the faceoff circle. They lost 13 of 16 draws in the first period and 22 of 54 total for a win percentage of 40.7.

5. Phillip Danault has been one of the NHL's top shutdown centers for years, and it's no surprise the Kings tried to match him against Connor Bedard all night. Danault, who scored the Kings' fifth goal, was on the ice against Bedard for 10:16 minutes at even strength, and the Blackhawks led 7-2 in scoring chances during that span, per Natural Stat Trick.

Bedard had a game-high nine shot attempts, although only one hit the net. He will probably lose sleep over the wide open net he missed in the first period.

6. Wyatt Kaiser was recalled ahead of the West Coast road trip after spending the last three months with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. I didn't notice him much, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for him. Sometimes not being noticed means you're doing your job and keeping things quiet.

7. The Blackhawks didn't have to kill a single penalty on Sunday vs. San Jose. They had to once in this game, and the Kings scored on it to make it 4-1. That was the dagger.

8. After going 0-for-6 in their previous two games, the Blackhawks got back on track on the power play, where they went 1-for-4. They scored seven seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage in the first period when Philipp Kurashev's pass went off Nick Foligno's skate and in. The Blackhawks now have 11 power-play goals in their last seven games.

9. Colin Blackwell left in the third period after taking a hit along the boards. He stayed down for quite a bit and appeared to be in some real discomfort before skating to the locker room under his own power while holding his chest area. There was no update on him after the game; the team will likely know more on Wednesday.

10. Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said on Sunday that defenseman Connor Murphy is still week-to-week with a groin injury that's kept him out since Jan. 13. He recently visited a specialist in Vancouver but is back "doing his treatment and in the gym on his own still. He's not ready to progress to the ice on his own yet." It’s unclear whether he’ll play again this season with only a month left. At this point, I would be surprised if he does.

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