The Chicago Blackhawks have a goalie crisis and Arvid Soderblom will look to be at least the short-term answer Thursday night against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
The Blackhawks lost Alex Stalock on Tuesday night when he was knocked out of a 3-1 loss to New York in the opening minutes after a collision with the Islanders’ Casey Cizikas. Petr Mrazek is already out due to a groin strain.
Stalock is in the concussion protocol, and Cizikas was hit with a game misconduct penalty and fined $5,000 Wednesday for goalie interference.
Soderblom, 23, entered three minutes in and allowed two goals while making 28 saves as the Blackhawks dropped their fourth straight (0-2-2).
“He was very calm and collected, just as he’s been,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said of Soderblom. “He’s like that in practice, made some really big saves for us and gave us a chance to stay in that game. He plays the puck well for a young goalie, too. That’s helpful for our D-core.”
Soderblom has appeared in two games this season and five in his career.
Jonathan Toews scored for the Blackhawks to cut the deficit to 2-1 midway through the third period, but the Islanders added an empty-net goal.
“I thought we came out a little bit flat,” said Chicago blueliner Caleb Jones. “It was a 1-0 game going into the third, and unfortunately, they got that one, but we battled back and got that one on the power play and we couldn’t find that other one. We’re in all these hockey games, we’ve just got to find a way to start pulling them out.”
Chicago has allowed 17 goals over its past four games.
Los Angeles split the first two games of a three-game road swing, winning 5-1 at St. Louis before dropping a 5-2 decision Tuesday night in Dallas. Kevin Fiala and Arthur Kaliyev scored for the Kings, who were playing the second of back-to-backs. Cal Petersen made 35 saves.
The Stars broke open a 1-1 game with three consecutive goals midway through the second period. Dallas finished 3-for-4 with the man advantage.
“If you don’t have your legs, you better have your brains, and we didn’t have either,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “That makes it a real tough night and that’s going to lead to penalties. The penalty kill did not get it done. We had it on our tape numerous times to clear and it didn’t come out.”
Fiala has eight points (two goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak for Los Angeles, which had won three of four before Tuesday.
“There’s no need for the frustration level to be high right now,” Kings forward Anze Kopitar said after the loss to Dallas. “We played a good game last night. We didn’t get it done tonight. There’s another game on Thursday (and) 2-1 on the trip would be a pretty good trip, so we’re going to rest tomorrow and get back at it on Thursday.”
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is 15-16-2 with 2.58 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and three shutouts in 33 career games versus the Blackhawks.
Soderblom has never faced the Kings.
–Field Level Media