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Los Angeles Kings Raise Championship Banner, Lose Season Opener to Blackhawks

January 19th, 2013 at 3:30 PM
By Brandon Der Avanessian

The Los Angeles Kings dropped their season opener, losing 5-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on Saturday. The only excitement for the home team came before the puck was dropped, when the Kings raised their first ever Stanley Cup championship banner. Center Anze Kopitar and defenseman Willie Mitchell, who will both miss the start of the 2013 season due to knee injuries, were in uniform and on the ice before the game to participate in the pre-game ceremony.

The Blackhawks got off to a quick start, scoring 3 first period goals, including a five on three power-play goal by Patrick Kane that put his team on the board just 3:41 into the game. Marian Hossa and Michael Frolik scored the other two first period goals for the Blackhawks, and Hossa would also add a second goal midway through the third period. Captain Jonathan Toews became the fourth different Blackhawk to score in the season opener, netting an early second period goal that gave his team a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Kings looked rusty right from the start, becoming the sixth defending champs out of the last seven to lose on opening night. It wasn't completely unexpected to see the team out of sorts after a long layoff and a short training camp, resulting from a 4 month long lockout. Rob Scuderi and Jordan Nolan scored the for the Kings in the second and third period respectively. For Scuderi, his first goal of the season matches his total from all of 2011-12.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick also looked relatively uncomfortable in net. In his first action since undergoing back surgery in August, the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner (MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs) made just 17 saves on 22 Chicago shots.

The Kings will travel to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Tuesday, one of 11 road games the Kings will play in their first 15 games of the 2013 season.

Tags: Hockey, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, NHL

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