The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 in Game 2 of the National Hockey League’s Western Conference finals, scoring less than two minutes after the opening faceoff and knocking out Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick midway through the second period.
Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook, Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus scored goals for the top-seeded Blackhawks, who got points from 10 different players last night in Chicago to take a two-games-to-none lead.
The best-of-seven playoff series now shifts to Los Angeles, where the Kings are 7-0 in the postseason and have won 14 straight overall. The Kings, who won the Stanley Cup last year as a No. 8 seed, host Game 3 tomorrow.
“You’ve got to keep your foot on the gas and keep going,” Shaw told reporters. “We’ve got some momentum.”
The Blackhawks-Kings winner advances to the Stanley Cup Final to face either the Pittsburgh Penguins or Boston Bruins. The Penguins host Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals after a 3-0 loss in the opener.
Shaw scored one minute, 56 seconds into last night’s game at the United Center to give the Blackhawks the lead. Seabrook made it 2-0 with 51 seconds left in the first period before Bickell and Handzus scored just over two minutes apart midway through the second.
Quick allowed four goals on 17 shots for the Kings before being pulled in favor of Jonathan Bernier.
“That was a real good start,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said at a news conference. “It certainly put us in a very good spot. Now we’re going to be going to a hostile environment. A quick start is going to be important.”
Jeff Carter scored for Los Angeles with just over a minute left in the second period, while Tyler Toffoli added a goal with 1:02 remaining in the third period.
The Kings lost their first two games this postseason in St. Louis before winning four straight to eliminate the Blues.
“They’re the Stanley Cup champions for a reason,” Bickell said. “They’re a great home team, so we just have to bring the mindset like we had here.”
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