Blackhawks Vs. Kings Game One Recap/ Game Two Preview
The phrase ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was originally used by the British government as a motivational tool to boost morale during World War II.
One could say the Chicago Blackhawks could adopt that phrase after the way they have played in the past week. Despite going into the second period down 1-0 and outshooting the Los Angeles Kings 17-2, the Blackhawks found a way to take the first game of the Western Conference Finals.
The Blackhawks edged the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-1 Saturday night in front of a raucous United Center crowd. The Madison Street Hockey Club has won four in row after climbing out of a 3-1 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Kings got on the board first with a Justin Williams wrist shot that got past Corey Crawford who out of position. Williams was unassisted.
The Blackhawks got on the board with a rebound goal by Patrick Sharp. Sharp was in front of the net to put back a slap shot from Johnny Oduya. He was assisted by Oduya and Michal Handzus. Later in the second period, Marian Hossa put the Blackhawks ahead for good with a deflection from a Duncan Keith slap shot. Hossa was assisted by Keith and Bryan Bickell.
Physicality was the name of the game as the two teams combined for 82 hits and six penalties. The Blackhawks continued their penalty kill streak to 41. The physical play was punctuated by a hit Dave Bolland gave Kings forward Mike Richards.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was stellar in goal. He had 21 saves.
Kings goaltender and reigning Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick had 34 saves.
Game two of the Western Conference finals will take place today 7:00 p.m. at the United Center.
Expect a physical game from both teams. Especially from the Kings. The Kings want to get at least one game from the Blackhawks before the series shift to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Blackhawks will most likely stick with outskating the Kings and getting physical when needed. Both teams have goalies that can keep their teams in the game. Power play opportunities will be paramount for that very reason. Neither team will squander such opportunities. Puck possession is the main attribute the Blackhawks have that separates them from the Kings. Look for them to be more aggressive in such matters.
Injury report: Willie Mitchell is out for the season with a lower body injury for Los Angeles. Mike Richards is listed as questionable with an upper body injury. No injuries to report for Chicago per TSN.
Location: United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Chicago, IL 60612
Where to watch: TSN; NBCSN
Where to listen: WGN 720 AM; KTLK AM 1150
Next two games: Tue Jun 4, 2013; 8:00 PM; Thu Jun 6, 2013; 8:00 PM