After a hard-fought series victory against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks dominated Game One of the Western Conference Final.
The Hawks owned the first period, out-shooting the Kings 17-2. However, the scoreboard showed Los Angeles leading 1-0 after the first 20 minutes.
In the middle period, the Hawks continued to put pressure on the Kings and they were finally able to get a puck past Jonathan Quick. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored almost four minutes apart in the second to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead, and Chicago wouldn’t give up another goal.
Corey Crawford allowed only the one goal against 22 shots, 12 of which came in the second period. Quick faced 36 shots in the game, allowing two goals in the loss.
The Kings out-hit the Hawks 44-38 in the game, and won 33 of 64 faceoffs. It was Chicago that controlled the action throughout the game, however.
For the Hawks, Bryan Bickell continued his strong play from the previous series with six hits and an assist in the game. Bickell and Brent Seabrook led Chicago with six hits each in the game, and Andrew Shaw added five.
Niklas Hjalmarsson led the Hawks with three blocked shots and three takeaways in the game. Coach Joel Quenneville was once again able to spread out the ice time among his defensemen; Duncan Keith and Seabrook skated 23:55 and 21:57, respectively, while Michal Rozsival saw the least ice time among Chicago’s rearguards with 14:03 in the game.
Keith led the Hawks with five shots on goal, one of which was redirected by Hossa for the game-winning goal.
After spending too much time in the penalty box against the Wings, the Hawks needed to kill only two penalties on Saturday evening.
Up front, Quenneville changed his forward lines from the successful groups that had worked against Detroit. Jonathan Toews, who won 12 of 22 faceoffs in the game, was between Hossa and Bickell for much of the game, while Michal Handzus was between Sharp and Patrick Kane.
The two teams will turn around and play again on Sunday night.