Toews refuses to let Hawks lose. Key goal in 2-1 win over Kings to split 3-3 on Circus Trip

LOS ANGELES—Jonathan Toews scored the go-ahead goal in the second period after winning a faceoff from Mike Richards, helping the Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Saturday.Toews, who came in leading the NHL with a 61.8 winning percentage on faceoffs, put the Hawks ahead 2-1 with 3:22 left in the second on his 13th goal after beating Richards clean on the draw.The puck went back to Duncan Keith, whose long screened wrist shot went wide of the left post on a deflection off teammate Viktor Stalberg. But Toews was right there to get the hard carom off the end boards and slam it home behind Jonathan Quick, who stuck out his right leg too late.It was the second straight game-winner and fourth this season for the Blackhawks’ captain, who had two goals and three assists on Friday in a wild 6-5 win down the freeway against the Anaheim Ducks.Andrew Brunette also scored for the Blackhawks and Keith had two assists.Corey Crawford, 4-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average in four career starts against the Kings, stopped 26 shots after making 23 saves against the Ducks. It was the first time he started on consecutive days since splitting a home-and-home set against the Dallas Stars to open the season.The Kings lost to the Blackhawks for the seventh straight time and fourth in a row at home. Quick had 25 saves and Jarret Stoll ended a 17-game goal drought. Richards’ career-best goal-scoring streak ended at five games. The Hawks, 9-0-1 when scoring first, got the jump on the Kings at 3:08 of the opening period. Brunette scored on a wraparound, as Quick tried to scramble around Kopitar and Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland in the crease to cover the right post. The Blackhawks are 5-0 when Brunette scores a goal, and in four of those games he got their first one. The Blackhawks had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 about eight minutes into the second period, as Stalberg and Patrick Kane flashed down the ice on a 2-on-none break. But Stalberg shot wide of the right post after getting Kane’s cross-ice feed, and the opportunistic Kings tied it with 7:58 to go in the period.Matt Greene’s shot from the right point was blocked by Keith, but the puck caromed to Stoll, and he beat Crawford high to the glove side with a 25-foot wrist shot for his first goal since Oct. 18.The Blackhawks were 3-3-0 on their annual circus road trip, which included a two-day stopover in Las Vegas. They won’t play consecutive games on the road again until they go on a franchise record-tying nine-game trip that runs from Jan. 31 through Feb. 18 and spans four time zones. The only other nine-game trip in the franchise’s 85-year history was in 1955-56, when the NHL was comprised of just six teams — all within a 987-mile radius.

NOTES—Joel Quenneville played his final nine NHL games for current Kings coach Terry Murray during the 1990-91 season, when Murray was coaching the Washington Capitals. … Keith, who the Norris Trophy in 2010 as the league’s top defenseman, has been on the ice for 17 of the 21 goals scored against the Blackhawks in their last five games. He also leads the team in ice time per game. … Kings C Colin Fraser helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2010 before he was traded to Edmonton for a draft pick just 15 days after the Cup clincher. … This was the 27th time the Hawks have played back-to-back road games against Kings and Ducks, and only the fourth time the Blackhawks have won both. It also happened in March 1994, February 1996, and last November. … The Kings lost all four meetings with the Blackhawks last season, three of them by one-goal margins. Their next rendezvous will be Dec. 28 at the United Center, where Los Angeles hasn’t won in six tries since Dec. 30, 2007. … The Kings have not allowed a goal in 11 short-handed situations over their last three games, after giving up at least one in eight straight contests.

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