Blackhawks keep their home dominance intact | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaBlackhawks keep their home dominance intact

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 | 06:39 PM

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Chicago captain Jonathan Toews helped the Blackhawks keep their home dominance intact. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Chicago captain Jonathan Toews helped the Blackhawks keep their home dominance intact. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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For the first time in franchise history, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks have peeled off seven straight home victories.

Home sweet home!

For the first time in franchise history, the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks have peeled off seven straight home victories.

The Blackhawks, who were well-rested after finishing off the Minnesota Wild in six games on Tuesday, continued their winning ways after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Western Conference final.

Counting the regular season, the Blackhawks have won 11 straight at United Centre. Chicago's last loss on home ice came March 23 when it lost 2-0 to the Nashville Predators.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews iced the game, converting a three-on-one with a one-time slap shot at 16:10 of the third period. Marian Hossa and defenceman Johnny Oduya drew assists on the insurance marker. Hossa was one of Chicago's best players in the game with two assists.

Too bad, so Saad

Los Angeles defenceman Alec Martinez drew a roughing penalty after shoving Chicago's Brandon Bollig to the ice at 12:48 and that led to Brandon Saad scoring a power-play goal 1:58 later on a tip-in off a Nick Leddy shot from the point. The call on Martinez was questionable as he gave Bollig a light shove and the Blackhawks player flopped to the ice smiling.

Johnny on the spot

Toews had luck on his side when he drove to the net early in the second period, only to lose the puck but have it bounce in off Kings defenceman Slava Voynov. The goal, however, was disallowed because the referees decided Toews made contact with Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick before the puck crossed the line. Had the goal counted it would have been Toews's fifth game winner of the playoffs.


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Kings respond

Not long after the disallowed goal, Tyler Toffoli clicked on a nifty feed from Tanner Pearson to tie the game. At 2:24 of the third period with Chicago holding a 2-1 lead, Taffoli was sent in alone, deked to his backhand but hit the post.

Toffoli, by the way, had 12 goals in 62 regular-season games and five were game winners. In the playoffs he has four goals and two are game winners.

Timely change

Chicago's Duncan Keith was barely on the ice after the Blackhawks changed defencemen when he found himself with the puck. He fired a quick shot that hit a Kings' defender and bounced past Quick to make it 2-1 for the home team at 11:54 of the second period.

Blackhawk domination

Chicago has dominated Los Angeles the past two seasons, winning all three games this season and going 9-2 in regular season and playoff games over the last two years.

Crawford shines

Despite having won a Stanley Cup last season, Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford is still searching for respect as one of the NHL's best stoppers. He played superbly in Game 1 against Los Angeles, making 25 saves as the Kings outshot the Blackhawks 26-20.

King stars silenced

Anze Kopitar leads the NHL playoffs in points with 19 while linemate Marian Gaborik leads in goals with nine. Both players were held off the score sheet in Game 1. Gaborik had three shots on goal while Kopitar did not have a single shot. Jeff Carter led the Kings with six shots.

Free Willie

Veteran defenceman Willie Mitchell drew back into the lineup for the first time since Game 6 of Round 1. He had been out with a hamstring issue. Mitchell, 37, played in his 78th career playoff game. Mitchell played a solid game. He had 16:49 of ice time on 24 shifts with one shot on goal, two hits and one blocked shot.

Century club

Carter and Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp each played their 100th career NHL playoff games. They were teammates with Philadelphia, winning the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League in 2005.

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