Tag Archives: Game 1

Ducks take Game 1 in Anaheim 4-1

By Brad Vandenberk

Finally, after waiting 10 days, game one of the Western Conference Final was played at the Honda Center in beautiful Anaheim. The Hawks have been trying to stay in game shape after disposing of the Wild in 4 straight games. There was one more test that stood in their way to reaching the Stanley Cup and it was the Ducks. They came to play this afternoon, but it was the Ducks who took game one with a 4-1 victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Hawks with 39 seconds left in the second period. That would be all she wrote from there.

Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen were in net for this one and Andersen looked sharp, absolutely robbing Patrick Kane on a wide open net. David Rundblad replaced Michel Rozsival who broke his ankle and will not be able to resume playing until next season. Rundblad was very noticeable but in a bad way, almost solely being responsible for 2 of the Ducks goals. Read more »

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IceHogs Beat Themselves in Game 1; Pulkinnen Hat-Trick Leads Grand Rapids to 5-3 Win

By Chris Block

Going into the Game 1 of the this Western Conference Semifinal series with Grand Rapids, the Rockford IceHogs had one primary focus – try to contain Griffins’ right winger Teemu Pulkkinen.

Rockford failed in that objective in Wednesday’s series opener as the Detroit Red Wings super-prospect struck for 3 goals in a 5-3 win over the visiting IceHogs.

Grand Rapids scored two minutes into the game when Michael Leighton misjudged a weak Kevin Porter backhander. The IceHogs tied the game 8:41 into the second frame when they took advantage of a terrible Griffins turnover in front of their own net and goalie Tom McCollum had no chance on a Mark McNeill one-timer from in tight.

Then the Pulkkinen show took center stage when he stored 3 minutes and 23 seconds apart later in the second to take a 2-goal lead heading into the third. Stephen Johns got the IceHogs back into the game with a snipe at 3:16 of the third period. Then Garret Ross tied the game when he tipped a Johns’ blast with 10:40 left in regulation.

But, the game was decided when the IceHogs allowed Pulkkinen to go the their net unchecked with under 3 minutes to go in a tied affair. Read more »

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Darling’s 42 saves in relief carry rallying Hawks to 4-3 win in double-OT of Game 1

By Chris Block

Opening night of the 2015 playoffs in Nashville had everything you might ask for an NHL postseason game: Double overtime, the return of a mega star, huge momentum shifts, trading scoring chances in end-to-end sequences, a dramatic game-winning goal, a blown 3-0 lead, a goalie yanking, an incredible goaltending performance, bad ice, dramatic scoring chances as a result of bad ice, bad penalty calls, bad non-penalty calls, heroes, goats and finally – one now huge goaltending controversy.

And that was just Game One.

The return of Patrick Kane just seven weeks after surgery to repair a broken left collarbone suffered on February 24 against the Florida Panthers was the big story coming into Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kane wasn’t in top form, but 75 percent or so was enough to make a big difference.

But the story coming out of the Hawks come-from-behind 4-3, double overtime victory in Game 1 is who will be the starter in Game 2.

Corey Crawford was victimized for 3 first period goals. The middle of those three was result of a Crawford turnover behind his net, but that was in part due to some bad luck in that the momentum of the puck as it approached the trapezoid slowed down as Crawford waited to play it. Read more »

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Blackhawks too much for Kings in Game 1

By Brad Vandenberk

Let’s start round three with a question? Who held their hand high in October when the whispers of repeat were in the air? Did we honestly think that we would be facing the exact same team, this time last season for the same title?

This proves to the NHL, especially the Western Conference, this is what a competitive franchise flirting with the dynasty headline looks like. The Kings have wowed the entire NHL with their story book playoff season thus far. Both of their series ended in a game 7, beating both Shark and Ducks to win the Pacific title. It wasn’t easy being down in both scenarios and finding a way to win on the “road”. I really don’t want to use air quotes, but let’s be honest, driving down highway 1, 45 minutes to play a road game, doesn’t quite constitute as a road game. Read more »

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Kane 3rd period Showtime deflates Wild push, Blackhawks take series opener 5-2

By Brad Vandenberk

Just as the bikini girl puts down the “round 2” sign, you can’t help but ponder, is this the same Minnesota Wild team the Hawks faced last year in the first round? The answer is simple. No. This Wild team comes slightly different with some glaring similarities.

Remember during the warm ups in game one last season when Niklas Backstrom took a puck off the knee and was helped off the ice deeming him finished for the series? In came Josh Harding, who played real well before hurting himself as well, and then came in Darcy Kemper to finish the series off in a losing cause as Minnesota were eliminated 4-1. Well not a lot has changed with the Wild’s goaltending carousel.

Minnesota’s hope this series seems to rest on Ilya Bryzgalov’s universe. Read more »

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Hawks get two by Quick, take 1-0 series lead on LA

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks opened the Western Conference finals Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. A pair of second period goals by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa provided the offense to give Chicago a 1-0 series lead.

The Blackhawks came out on the offensive, generating the first five shots of the contest. In fact, Chicago would outshoot the Kings 17-2 in the opening period. However, the only one of those shots that mattered came off the stick of Justin Williams.

Corey Crawford attempted to send a loose puck behind the boards with just under six minutes to play in the first period. Brad Richardson prevented this from happening and the puck floated to the front of the net. Dave Bolland tried to clear the crease but the puck struck Williams’ stick and into the net. Despite the lack of scoring chances, Los Angeles skated to the locker room with a 1-0 lead. Read more »

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