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Rapid Reaction: Kings 2, Blackhawks 0

CHICAGO -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday at the United Center.

How it happened: The Hawks steadily played worse after a high-tempo scoreless first period. They gave up a goal-mouth score to Trent Hunter in the second and an early third-period tally to Jarret Stoll after Nick Leddy was knocked down by Justin Williams in front of Corey Crawford. The Hawks were fortunate not to give up more around their own net as they had some issues there much of the night. Corey Crawford played well despite losing, stopping a Mike Richards penalty shot after Richards was taken down by Jonathan Toews from behind. The Hawks stalled on offense until it was too late after creating some good early chances. Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick was on top of his game especially in the third period when the Hawks came hard. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville changed the line combinations to start the final 20 minutes, putting Patrick Kane back at center between Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg. Marian Hossa skated with Toews in the third but no harm could be done.

What it means: It’s the second game in a row the Hawks were badly outshot and out-chanced when the game was on the line, not a good sign heading into a showdown with Detroit. The six blue-liners didn’t create much transition on offense and after the first period the Hawks stopped skating to create. It means a back-to-the-drawing-board day on Thursday, as Quenneville will undoubtedly tweak his lines. Andrew Brunette's return to the top 6 forwards might be over and Kane continued a mini-funk, missing the net several times and not playmaking like he’s used to doing. Overall, it was just an “off” performance, especially after being unable to score in a decent first period. They had a surge in the third, but only after Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead, so that edge in play is tempered some knowing the Kings were trying to finish a nice road game for them. The Kings were the better team on this night. It’s the fourth time the Hawks have been shut out this season.

What’s next: Friday marks the Hawks’ first matchup of the year against the Detroit Red Wings. The Hawks and Wings will play six times between Friday and the end of the season.