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Blackhawks blank Kings

6:35 AM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Saad scored the game's only goal and rookie Antti Raanta recorded his first career shutout, as the Chicago Blackhawks blanked the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0, on Monday at United Center.

Saad lit the lamp 7:05 into the game to get the Blackhawks on the board and provide Raanta with the only support he would need, as the 24-year-old netminder turned aside 26 shots, including 15 in the second stanza, to help Chicago improve to 5-0-2 in its last seven games.

Fellow rookie goaltender Martin Jones absorbed the hard-luck loss, stopping all but one of the 30 shots he faced for the Kings, who have dropped a season- high three straight games.

An LA turnover near the Chicago blue line just over seven minutes in produced the contest's lone goal, as Duncan Keith corralled the loose puck and chipped it off the left boards to spring Bryan Bickell down the left side.

With Saad joining the rush to make it a 2-on-1, Bickell's pass from atop the left circle somehow slipped past defender Matt Greene and a backchecking Mike Richards, allowing Saad to roof the disc from the low right side for 1-0 lead.

The Kings had a prime opportunity to pull even after Dustin Brown was awarded a penalty shot at the 13:22 mark of the second, but Raanta denied Brown's quick wrister to keep the margin at 1-0.

Chicago appeared to tack on an insurance tally near the midpoint of the third, but Andrew Shaw deflected the disc with a high stick, nullifying the marker.

However, Raanta wouldn't require any further support, stopping all five shots he faced in the final frame to complete the whitewash.

Game Notes

After winning his first eight career starts to tie an NHL record, Jones has dropped back-to-back outings ... Chicago forward Patrick Kane had his 14-game point streak halted ... Chicago went 0-for-3 on the power play, while LA finished 0-for-2 on the man advantage.

The Sports Network

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