CHICAGO — Jeff Carter scored three of Los Angeles’ six straight goals, and the Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 on Wednesday night to leave the Western Conference final tied at one game apiece.
Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin also scored in Los Angeles’ five-goal third period as the Kings became the first visiting team to win in Chicago this postseason. The Blackhawks won their first seven home playoff games this year, but the Kings skated right by Chicago after the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Nick Leddy and Ben Smith scored for Chicago, which won 3-1 in Game 1 on Sunday.
The Blackhawks were in position for their fourth consecutive win before Carter redirected Drew Doughty’s slap shot by Corey Crawford to tie it at 2 just 1:37 into the third. Muzzin then had another power-play score at 4:04 that gave Los Angeles the lead.
Once the Kings got going, they appeared to get almost anything they wanted against the sagging Blackhawks. Tanner Pearson set up goals by Toffoli at 8:59 and Carter at 14:44, and Carter added an empty-netter for his seventh of the playoffs.
Carter also had an assist in his first career four-point playoff game. It was his second playoff hat trick.
It was the most goals allowed by the Blackhawks in a playoff game since a 6-1 loss to Detroit on May 24, 2009.
Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for the Kings, including a big stop on Brent Seabrook with Chicago trying for a 3-0 lead in the second.
The Blackhawks got off to a strong start, using their speed to draw four penalties in the first period alone. Brandon Saad was responsible for two of the calls, making a pair of nice moves that ended with Matt Greene in the box for hooking and Doughty sent off for holding.
Los Angeles defenseman Willie Mitchell had to cross check Peter Regin into the net to prevent a goal with about seven minutes left in the period, but Chicago made the most of the man advantage.
The Blackhawks turned away a short-handed rush by the Kings, and Duncan Keith made a nice pass ahead to a streaking Leddy coming up the right side. The defenseman, who was a healthy scratch for Game 3 of Chicago’s second-round series against Minnesota, then sent a backhander over Quick’s left shoulder at 14:16.
It was Leddy’s second career playoff goal. He also scored on April 21, 2012, at Phoenix.
Chicago struck again in the second, with Smith jumping off the bench and beating Quick on a line change to make 2-0 at 1:40 of the period. The Blackhawks had another prime scoring chance when Kris Versteeg made a nice pass to Seabrook on a 2-on-1, but Quick got over to make a nice stop on the defenseman’s shot.
Quick’s play on Seabrook provided more time for the Kings to get back in the game, and they took advantage when Mike Richards’ pass to the crease went off Justin Williams’ right skate and past Crawford with 1:46 left in the second.
Williams’ sixth goal of the playoffs cut Chicago’s lead to 2-1 after two, and the Kings carried the momentum over to their big third period.
Crawford made 25 saves.
NOTES: Carter also scored three times in a 4-0 playoff win at Phoenix on May 15, 2012. … Kings D Matt Greene was active for the first time in series. He replaced Jeff Schultz, who was scratched after he played 17 minutes in Game 1. … Quick improved to 8-17-1 in 26 career games against the Blackhawks. … The Blackhawks played without F Andrew Shaw, who is out with a lower-body injury, but could return in Game 3.