Having lost the Western Conference final series opener Sunday, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said his team needed a big turnaround in Wednesday's Game 2.
Boy, did Sutter get what he wished for.
The Kings erupted for six unanswered goals, including five in the third period -- led by a hat trick by center Jeff Carter -- to trounce the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 at the United Center.
With the win, Los Angeles ties the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
"We just wanted to get more at the net tonight and we were able to do that," Sutter said.
Los Angeles snapped Chicago's three-game winning streak, as well as ended the Blackhawks' previously perfect 7-0-0 record at home during the current playoffs.
"At some point, they're going to lose a game at home. They're not going to win every game," said Sutter, who previously played for and then coached the Blackhawks.
Very little ever seems to stun Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, but the veteran coach looked as if he had been hit by a truck after that fateful final period.
"The way it turned on a dime like that, I don't know if we've seen a game like that this season where it turned so quick into a disaster," Quenneville said.
Even though he was the scoring star of the game, Carter tried to downplay his impact.
"I didn't really have to do too much in this one," he said. "I was standing in front (of the net) for the first one, Greene (defenseman Matt Greene) and Tanner (left wing Tanner Pearson) were there for the second and then I had the empty netter. I really didn't to that much."
The Blackhawks opened the scoring at 14:16 of the first period when defenseman Nick Leddy scored his first goal of the playoffs. Leddy's goal came on the power play after Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell was whistled for cross-checking on the same play as Regin's missed goal.
The Blackhawks made it 2-0 at 1:40 of the second period when right winger Ben Smith scored his second goal of the playoffs. Smith had just come onto the ice on a line change when defenseman Johnny Oduya pushed a centering pass ahead to Smith just before he crossed into the Kings' zone. A couple of quick strides and an even quicker wrist shot and Smith scored.
Los Angeles finally got on the scoreboard at 18:14 of the second period on right winger Justin Williams' sixth goal of the playoffs, a tip-in on a scrum in front of Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford.
And then came the fateful third period. The Kings' first two goals came on the power play by defenseman Drew Doughty, at 1:37, and Carter, at 4:04, to make it 3-2 for the visitors.
Then, at 8:59, center Tyler Toffoli scored his fifth goal of the playoffs to put the Kings ahead 4-2.
Carter added two additional goals, his sixth and seventh of the playoffs, at 14:44 and then an empty-net tally at 16:29 to seal Los Angeles' rout.
"I thought for the most part we had the better chances until the third period," Crawford said. "It was just kind of a collapse then. That happens. That wasn't our hockey team. We've just got to rest up and prepare for a big game in LA."
The series now shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3 (Saturday) and 4 (Monday) at Staples Center.
"We have to stick with what we've got," Carter said about returning home, where the Kings are 3-3 thus far in the playoffs. "We have to stick with it and grind it out."