Blackhawks Chase Quick To Take Charge In The West

by
Reuters
The Chicago Blackhawks handed Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick his first early exit of the playoffs as they rattled the Kings 4-2 Sunday to grab a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals.

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Saad celebrates his game winning goal with teammate Sharp during the third period of their NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks in Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks handed Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick his first early exit of the playoffs as they rattled the Kings 4-2 Sunday to grab a commanding lead in the Western Conference finals.

The home Blackhawks ambushed Quick for four goals in just 29 minutes to chase the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner and establish a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Top-seeded Chicago have now won five consecutive playoff games after falling 3-1 behind to Detroit in the second round, and will go into Game Three in Los Angeles on Tuesday looking like the best team in the NHL.

Their latest triumph was a surprising offensive outburst against Quick, who has been stellar throughout the post-season and had not allowed more than three goals in a game.

Andrew Shaw netted just 1:56 into the contest for the Blackhawks, who also had a first-period score from Brent Seabrook.

Bryan Bickell converted a power-play at 7:11 in the second and Michal Handzus gave the home side a 4-0 lead just two minutes later, prompting the Kings to bring on backup netminder Jonathan Bernier.

Jeff Carter scored the first Los Angeles goal at the end of the second before Tyler Toffoli tallied at the end of the third.

Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford finished with 29 saves.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings were without center Mike Richards, who missed his first game all season with an upper-body injury. Richards has a team-high 10 playoff points.

Los Angeles have been unbeatable at home during the playoffs but struggled on the road where they fell to just 1-7.