Jun 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Kings centerMike Richards
(10) battles for the puck with Chicago Blackhawks centerMarcus Kruger
(16) during the second period in game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
After their Game 7 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks faced off against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings also came off of a Game 7 win against the San Jose Sharks, but neither team seemed to carry over the energy level exhibited in those games.
It was all Chicago in the first period laying 17 shots on Jonathan Quick compared to Los Angeles’ 2 shots on Corey Crawford, but the home team trailed 1-0 after the first 20 minutes due to an unfortunate mishandle by Crawford. The mishandle wasn’t quite as bad as Quick’s First Round fumble against the St. Louis Blues, but Crawford’s recovery was just as impressive. Just an angry smack of his stick on the crossbar and he was fine.
In the second period, the Blackhawks continued their pelting of Quick but added a bit more traffic and strategy to their attack. Patrick Sharp was able to put back a Johnny Oduya rebound off of Quick’s left pad to tie the game, and in front of the net, Marian Hossa deflected Duncan Keith‘s shot from the point to take the lead. The last 20 minutes of the game were dedicated to holding off the slowly increasing attack of the Kings. Crawford stood tall on the mini surges and a power play opportunity for the Kings and ended the game with 21 saves on 22 shots.
Duncan Keith is in full playoff mode, and it feels so good.
The Blackhawks ended the game with 36 shots on goal, 17 of those in the first period and only 5 in the third.
No matter how good Crawford is, he will always be “out-performed” by the competing goaltender.
This is just the first game of the series and it won’t be the norm. These two teams are still feeling each other out, but at least the Blackhawks took the 1-0 series lead in the mean time!
Does this Game 1 win effect your confidence in the Blackhawks this series?