– The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Marian Hossa scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks moved to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Patrick Kane tapped home the tying goal as Chicago rallied from a second-period deficit to snap the defending Stanley Cup champions’ 15-game, home-winning streak since March. Bryan Bickell had a goal and an assist for the top-seeded Blackhawks, who took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Slava Voynov and Dustin Penner scored for the Kings, who are in trouble.
Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago.
The Blackhawks won without top defenseman Duncan Keith, who served a one-game suspension for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face during the second period of Game 3. But Sheldon Brookbank filled in while Chicago played strong team defense in front of Corey Crawford, who faced just 21 shots.
“You miss a defenseman like Duncan Keith, he is the guy who plays the most on the blue line,” Hossa said. “When you miss him, someone else has to step up, and our guys did.”
The Kings had been outstanding when playing with a lead in front of goalie Jonathan Quick, but Los Angeles uncharacteristically surrendered a 2-1 lead late in the second period.
The high-scoring Kane ended his seven-game goal drought in a quiet postseason by charging into the crease to tap home the tying goal on a rebound of Niklas Hjalmarsson’s shot and Bickell’s deflection late in the second period. Hjalmarsson finished with two assists.
After Los Angeles killed a penalty to open the third period, Michal Handzus caught the Kings napping and set up a break with the speedy Hossa, who ripped a precise shot for his seventh goal of the postseason.
“We had a semi 2-on-1, and (Handzus) made an excellent play to me, and we got the goal,” Hossa said.
The Kings played their third straight game without center Mike Richards, who has an apparent concussion after a big hit from Chicago’s Dave Bolland in the series opener. Richards was the Kings’ leading postseason scorer with 10 points when he got hurt.