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Andersen’s Ducks knock off Blackhawks 4-1 in WCF opener

May 18, 2015

ANAHEIM, California (AP) — Frederik Andersen kept the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference finals opener while his teammates got rolling. When they did, the Ducks streaked out to yet another early series lead.

Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg each had a goal and an assist, and the Ducks beat the Blackhawks 4-1 in Game 1 on Sunday.

Andersen made 32 saves and Kyle Palmieri also scored as the Ducks opened their first conference finals in eight years by improving to 9-1 in these Stanley Cup playoffs. Although the Blackhawks clearly are a major step up in competition, the Ducks’ confidence grew with a strong all-around performance backed by brilliance from their imposing Danish goalie.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Andersen had to be stellar under a heavy barrage of high-quality shots from the Blackhawks, who had won five straight postseason games heading into their third straight conference finals. Kane scored seven goals in the first two rounds, but could only shake his head on the bench after Andersen’s phenomenal stick save in the first period.

Brad Richards scored late in the second period and Corey Crawford stopped 23 shots for Chicago, which hadn’t lost since April 23.

Both teams’ offensive stars were shut down in the franchises’ first postseason meeting, but the Ducks’ supporting cast took over the scoring, capped by Silfverberg’s empty-net goal with 1:18 left.

Andersen also made a handful of spectacular saves in the third when Chicago pressed after Thompson made it 3-1 with 7:55 to play in a sequence created by speedy Andrew Cogliano.

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