Los Angeles Kings Were Their Own Worst Enemy in Game 5 vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Los Angeles Kings sure don’t make it easy on themselves.

After rallying back from a mistake-riddled first period to hold a 4-3 lead in the third frame, the team committed a couple of blunders that ultimately cost L.A. Game 5 of the Western Conference Final on Wednesday.

Seeing as Michal Handzus’ game-winner was scored in double overtime, the Kings squandered a golden opportunity to finish off a hyper-talented Chicago Blackhawks squad.

This wasn’t a case of Chicago simply dominating the Kings and obtaining a deserved victory. The shots were 45-44 in the Blackhawks’ favor, and they narrowly won the possession battle at five-on-five. Holding a 3-1 series edge, L.A. was right in this contest until the very end, when a pair of mental errors sent this series back to Staples Center for a crucial Game 6 on Friday.

Throughout the entire tilt, the Kings' energy and resilience were undermined by ridiculous turnovers and blown coverage.

Let’s take a look at how L.A. shot itself in the foot on Wednesday night.



There’s no sugarcoating the fact that Jonathan Quick had a rough outing in Game 5. His rebound control was atrocious, and he appeared flustered any time the puck was anywhere near him.

With that said, the Kings didn’t do him any favors on Wednesday by continually coughing the puck up in dangerous areas. This led to higher-percentage shots for the opposition, which was particularly grievous considering the state of the club's goaltending.

L.A.’s defensemen were the guiltiest parties.

Slava Voynov has been a disaster for most of the postseason, and in Game 5, teammate Willie Mitchell joined the party for a comically terrible performance.

Mitchell ended the night with a five-on-five Corsi percentage of 35.9 and a team-high three giveaways.


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