The NHL Report, WCF - May 19
Knotted at 1-1, Duncan Keith scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and Jonathan Toews added the insurance marker late in the third to power the Blackhawks to a 1-0 series lead over the Kings in the Western Conference Final.
* The Blackhawks improved to 7-0 at home this postseason and now have won 18 of their past 20 playoff games at United Center dating to 2013. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last team to win 18 of 20 home postseason games was the Edmonton Oilers, who did so from April 7, 1988-May 2, 1990.
* The Blackhawks also improved to 7-0 at home against the Kings in their three all-time playoff series (3-0 in 1974 QF, 3-0 in 2013 CF, 1-0 in 2014 CF).
* Overall, the Blackhawks now have won six consecutive games versus the Kings and 10 of their last 12 meetings (regular season and playoffs).
* Keith recorded his second career playoff game-winning goal and first since April 19, 2011 (Game 4 of CQF vs. VAN). He became just the fourth Blackhawks player to tally a game-winning goal this postseason, following Toews (4), Patrick Kane (3) and Brandon Saad (1).
* Toews now is tied for the team lead (with Bryan Bickell and Kane) with six goals in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (13 GP) – that matches his total from the last three postseasons combined (36 GP). He also won 11-of-18 draws (61.1%) and leads remaining players in face-off winning percentage (188-of-323, 58.2%).
* Corey Crawford made 25 saves, including 16 in the second period, to improve to 7-0 at home this postseason with a 1.25 goals-against average, .957 save percentage and one shutout (2-4, 2.57 GAA, .908 SV% on the road). He now leads the NHL with a 1.90 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Crawford also improved to 6-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in nine career series-opening playoff games (four of which required overtime; 2-2 in those contests). All six of those wins have come in Chicago, while all three losses have come on the road.
* Marian Hossa (0-2—2) recorded his fourth multi-point game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He leads the team, and ranks third among remaining players, with 2-11—13 in the postseason.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks-Kings series marks only the fifth repeat matchup in the Conference Finals (or Semifinals, as it was known prior to 1982) since 1979. The others: Oilers-Red Wings in 1987 and 1988, Bruins-Penguins in 1991 and 1992, Avalanche-Red Wings in 1996 and 1997, and Avalanche-Stars in 1999 and 2000.
BLACKHAWKS, KINGS MAKE FRIENDLY WAGER ON TWITTER
During Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, the Blackhawks and Kings made a friendly wager on Twitter based on the outcome of the series:
The Blackhawks improved to 8-0 when scoring first in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs; they ranked seventh in the NHL with a .791 winning percentage when recording the first goal during the regular season (34-2-7) . . . Kings forward Tyler Toffoli scored his fourth goal of the playoffs . . . Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad (1-1—2) potted his first career postseason power-play goal. He now has 3-6—9 in 13 playoff games; Saad had 1-6—7 in 25 career postseason contests prior to 2014 . . . Kings forward Anze Kopitar was held off the scoresheet for only the second time in the team’s 15 playoff games. He still leads the NHL with 14 assists and 19 points in the postseason.
SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Montreal, Game 2, NYR leads 1-0, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS