May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) shoots wide of Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) during the second period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks Take Game 1 Against The Los Angeles Kings


 

The Western Conference Finals have begun with Game 1 going to the Chicago Blackhawks as they beat the Los Angeles Kings, 3-1. The rematch from last years WCF would have the Kings looking to avenge their exit from their Stanley Cup defense from a season ago, but that will have to wait until Game 2. If this game was any indication of how the series is going to be, we can look forward to a roller coaster ride over the next six games.

The Blackhawks struck first when they got on the power play from a questionable penalty to Alec Martinez when he pushed potential Academy Award Nominee Brandon Bollig who seemed to go down quite easy. The Kings had held off Chicago for 1 minute and 58 seconds, but were exhausted towards the end of the penalty kill. Brandon Saad had scored on a top-shelfer to make it 1-0. Chicago was all over the Kings as LA could do little to get the puck in their zone. It was almost seven minutes before they the Kings could get their first shot on goal.

The Kings came out on fire in the second period, with the first three shots, but then it was the Blackhawks that had scored next… or did they? Jonathan Toews took the puck in from the right side and shot it, but had made contact with Jonathan Quick. The puck bounced in off of Slava Voynov’s skate, which prompted Chicago fans to go nuts. After review, they went even more nuts as the goal was disallowed because of incidental contact.


A few minutes later, they Kings had ‘Chelsea Dagger’ driven right into Chicago’s heart as Tyler Toffoli banked one in of the right post past Corey Crawford. The game was tied 1-1. But the momentum kept swinging back and forth and near the 12 minute mark, Chicago capitalized on a LA turnover by the blue line that had the Kings scrambling to get back. In the mean time, Chicago set up a shot to Duncan Keith at the top of the right circle. He sent a rocket against the ice, which bounced up redirecting the shot. Quick had no chance and the Blackhawks were back on top, 2-1.

The Kings had good pressure in the second, but lost momentum in the third. That will happen to a team when they only take 3 shots a the period. With just under four minutes left, the Kings got caught up in the neutral zone which gave the Blackhawks a 3-on-one advantage. Johnny Oduya handled the puck going down the ice and feed it to Jonathan Toews who beat Quick on the right side.  That did it. Chicago takes game one.

The Kings look to regroup fro Game 2 which is Wednesday night at the United Center.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

Tags: Los Angeles Kings