The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks kicked off their Western Conference Finals series on Sunday afternoon with Game 1 from the United Center in Illinois. It was a rematch of last year’s conference championship, but this time the Kings were hoping for a much different result.
Despite a valiant effort from the away team, it was the Blackhawks who were able to come away with a 3-1 win to take an early series lead.
Things didn’t look good early for the Kings when Brandon Saad scored a power play goal to put Chicago on the board first, with assists by Nick Leddy and Marian Hossa. It was the only goal of the first period.
In the second, the Blackhawks had appeared to extend their lead, but after reviewing a play the referees decided that there was goaltender interference and the goal was waved off. Many believed that was a poor call with the momentum carrying the Chicago player into Jonathan Quick, but the referees saw otherwise.
Los Angeles capitalized on that mistake and just a few minutes later went down the other end of the ice to tie up the game with a goal off the stick of Tyler Toffoli.
Rather than allow the Kings to gain momentum from the controversial call and goal, the Blackhawks regained their composure with a goal from Duncan Keith to regain the lead for Chicago as we entered the third and final period.
The two teams exchanged power play opportunities in the third and neither team was able to breakthrough on the offensive ice.
With just under four minutes to go, the Blackhawks finally got an opportunity to extend their lead and they did just that with a goal off the stick of Jonathan Toews.
Unfortunately for the Kings, they were unable to find enough time to even up the score before the end of regulation and they watched the Blackhawks celebrate a 3-1 victory.