Crawford leads Blackhawks past Kings 3-1 in Game 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Corey Crawford made 25 saves and Jonathan Toews scored an important goal in the third period as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Sunday.
Brandon Saad added a goal and an assist for defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, which remained perfect in seven home playoff games this year. Duncan Keith had a tiebreaking score in the third period.
Playing just two days after a Game 7 victory over Anaheim, the Kings got a second-period score from Tyler Toffoli and outshot the Blackhawks 26-20 in the opener of a rematch from last year’s Western Conference final. But Crawford made a couple of solid stops in another terrific performance.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night.
With the Blackhawks clinging to a 2-1 lead in the third, Toews got loose on a 3-on-1 break and one-timed Johnny Oduya’s pass right by Jonathan Quick for his sixth playoff goal at 16:10.
Quick made 17 saves after he played a key role in Los Angeles’ rally from a 3-2 deficit in the series against the Ducks. The Kings also battled back from a 3-0 deficit against San Jose in the first round.
Toews’ 26th career playoff goal came after he had one waved off in a confusing stretch in the second period.
It looked as if Chicago had a 2-0 lead when Toews’ rush to the net resulted in the puck going off the skate of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and into the goal. But it was waved off after a conference by the officials, prompting a round of boos from the crowd of 21,832 and a waving, yelling display from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
According to the NHL, the original call of good goal was changed because the officials decided Toews made incidental contact with Quick before the puck crossed the goal line. The league said the ruling was not reviewable, so the call on the ice remained in place.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap