The Chicago Blackhawks scored two second-period goals as part of a repeated shot-taking effort on gifted Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, producing a 2-1 victory over visiting Los Angeles in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday at United Center.
Following a first-period goal by Kings winger Justin Williams -- his third goal in two games -- Chicago produced two goals within a four-minute span in the second period to take the lead.
First, with 7:31 left, Johnny Oduya blasted a shot from the right side that Blackhawks veteran center Patrick Sharp followed, beating Quick to the left.
Then, after the Blackhawks failed to score on their third power play, Chicago star Marian Hossa masterfully redirected a blast by teammate Duncan Keith that eluded Quick with 3:36 left in the second.
Chicago outshot the Kings, 36-22.
Quick, who started the game with a 1.50 goals-against average, had virtually no chance to stop the deflected blast by Keith as Hossa was positioned directly in front of Quick, a play teams practice routinely.
In the third period, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford capped a strong effort, finishing with 21 saves.
A late Kings’ penalty meant the game ended on a Chicago power play, the visitors having no chance to pull Quick and pressure Crawford.
“It’s tough,” Crawford told NBC Sports of enduring the early, strong effort by his rival Quick. “You have to stay strong mentally.
“We played really well, had a lot of chances at the net and were moving the puck well.”
The Kings are now 1-6 on the road in playoff games,, all 2-1 losses.
The teams resume the series at 5 p.m. PDT Sunday at United Center.
Here's a period-by-period recap:
Third period (Blackhawks 2, Kings 1)
Chicago applies pressure with wingers Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad look for a shot.
The Blackhawks remain poised passing in defensive zone with 2:09 left.
Kings center Mike Richards tries to sneak in on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford but is decked by Chicago center Dave Bolland. Richards is groggy after getting blasted into the boards.
Then Kings forward Jeff Carter trips Bolland, a penalty with 1:37 left in regulation.
On the Chicago power play, it looks like an old four-corners basketball stall, burning seconds the Kings need to pressure Crawford. It’s not happening.
Jonathan Quick remains in goal with 20 seconds left. Good thing as a save is needed.
The Blackhawks flip the puck down ice and win, 2-1.
A pass scoots from behind the Kings’ net in front of goalie Jonathan Quick, but it’s taken out of harm’s way.
The Kings’ pressure is increasing on the Blackhawks with four minutes left.
An approach by Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa is denied. The Kings have gone with six different line combinations, searching for better pressure.
Kings center Anze Kopitar tries a pass from behind the net, but winger Dustin Penner can’t find it. Less than three minutes remain, and Kings are called for icing with 2:44 to play.
The Kings have outshot Chicago, 7-4, so far in this period. Nine minutes left.
Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi tries a blue-line shot, wide to goalie Corey Crawford’s left.
Crawford has 21 saves thus far, and there's 7:30 remaining.
Kings captain Dustin Brown has a shot blocked. Then Chicago winger Bryan Bickell has an open wrist shot knocked away by goalie Jonathan Quick’s left glove.
Slap shot by Chicago right wing Patrick Kane is deflected in front of Quick. Six minutes remain.
Kings winger Dustin Penner set up in front of Crawford and almost redirected a shot past Crawford. It's a tricky moment that Crawford handles.
Timeout Chicago, 5:11 left.
Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy trips Kings right wing Dustin Brown, who did have a wide open shot if not for the penalty.
Kings center Mike Richards fires from the blue line, but he's denied. Chicago clears another try.
The Kings have scored four of their seven power-play goals in the third period this postseason. But Chicago has killed all 22 penalties in its first eight home playoff games.
A one-timer by Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is high, and out of play.
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith pushes a short-handed shot at Kings goalie Jonathan Quick that’s gloved with five seconds left on the power play.
The Kings don’t like this 2-1 deficit, they’ve lost each road game by that margin. The power play is dead.
Icing on Kings with 10:09 left in the period.
Kings left wing Kyle Clifford softly backhands a shot, but it has no chance at the net.
Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad steals the puck from Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and threatens Quick, but he fails to score.
Quick answers with an impressive save on a shot by Chicago center Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks again challenge but can’t increase their lead.
Kings center Jarret Stoll takes a pass from forward Jeff Carter and shoots, and Dwight King follows, but nothing doing.
Chicago defenders doing well at sweeping away pucks close to net and bruising Kings, including Doughty, who gets close.
Carter slides in a shot that Chicago goalie Corey Crawford needs to push away with his pad.
Kings right wing Dustin Brown steals a pass and is tripped with 12:41 remaining in the game, getting a power-play opportunity, still trailing 2-1.
Chicago has 31 shots on goal, to the Kings’ 14 after two periods. Obvious plan for the Blackhawks to pepper great goalie Jonathan Quick has achieved dividends.
The defending Stanley Cup champions win the faceoff to start the third period, and left wing Dustin Penner finds a great shot that doesn’t go to the net as it’s deflected by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith’s stick.
Nice hit by Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook on Penner.
Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane fans on a shot.
Kings right wing Justin Williams has a look at a crossing pass, but he was wrapped up with Kane in front of the net.
Second period (Blackhawks 2, Kings 1)
On the goal that made it 2-1, Kings left wing Marian Hossa was positioned directly in front of Quick on a shot by defenseman Duncan Keith, a play teams practice routinely.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews has only one shot in more than 12 minutes of ice time.
The Kings get a shot on goal by winger Dustin Penner, but it sails wide right.
Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane fires a wrist shot that can’t beat Quick before the final seconds tick off.
With one period left to play, it's Chicago 2, Kings 1.
On the goal that made it 2-1, Hossa was positioned directly in front of Quick on the Keith shot, a play teams practice routinely.
Toews has just one shot in more than 12 minutes of ice time.
Dustin Penner tries a shot that’s wide right.
Kane fires a wrist shot that can’t beat Quick, final seconds tick off.
End second: Chicago 2, Kings 1.
Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick stops a shot by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
A centering pass by Chicago left wing Marian Hossa was just missed by right wing Andrew Shaw. Good line by NBC that a lacrosse stick was needed.
Kings winger Dustin Brown has a short-handed shot blocked to the boards.
Sharp follows with a one-on-one chance against Quick but couldn’t keep the puck on his stick.
Chicago is goal-less after three power plays.
Hossa has two good shots near Quick’s left pad and post, but can’t get the puck past him.
But then Hossa masterfully redirects a blast by Keith with 3:36 left in the second period to beat Quick and give Chicago a 2-1 lead.
Kings Coach Darryl Sutter notes shots have been even since the opening 10 minutes of Game 1, and he's happy to be ahead. Obviously, Sutter wants the “W.”
Total shots: Chicago 24, Kings 11 with 8:55 left in second period.
Chicago has tied the score, 1-1, with 7:31 left. Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya blasts a shot from the right side and left wing Patrick Sharp follows it, beating Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to the left.
Now a penalty on Kings winger Dustin Penner.
Faceoff coming in front of Chicago goaltender corey Crawford after he holds the puck too long.
Wingers Marian Hossa and Bryan Bickell deliver good pressure on Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who denies two Bickell shots, adding a skate save on an attempt by Hossa.
Kings forward Kyle Clifford passes from behind the net, but Crawford snags it.
A pass by Kings center Jarret Stoll from behind the net can’t produce any insurance.
Quick is forced to stop a shot from the blue-line shot.
Kings winger Justin Williams drives down ice and blasts a shot that Crawford grabs with 12:46 remaining. Still a 1-0 Kings’ lead.
Nice hit by Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr.
It's been a quiet game for Chicago star Jonathan Toews. Chicago crowd raises voice on hits by Bickell and Shaw.
A long-range shot by Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is knocked down by a defenseman.
Chicago center Dave Bolland takes a good, high shot at Quick that was missed inside 10 minutes remaining in the second period.
Quick makes an impressive glove save on shot by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
The Kings’ net is knocked off in the opening two minutes.
Center Brad Richardson and forward Kyle Clifford bother Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford with a two-on-two counter. Crawford makes a right-pad save on a shot by Richardson.
Kings have the first three shots of the period, as broadcasters heap high praise on goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin delivers a hit, minor payback for the massive blows he’s endured this game.
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane gets a great look at goal, but Quick spreads to block it. Shutout continues.
First period (Kings 1, Blackhawks 0)
Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy tries a shot to Jonathan Quick’s gut that is stopped, then the Kings goalie covers up with his left glove on a shot by winger Andrew Shaw.
A big hit by Chicago winger Viktor Stalberg sends Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin into the boards.
Chicago has a massive 16-2 advantage in shots.
Hits are even, 15-15.
Less than two minutes remain in the first.
Michael Frolik fires a shot that Quick deflects. It’s going to take more than that.
The first period ends, the Kings leading 1-0.
The Kings open the scoring in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the host Chicago Blackhawks.
Winger Justin Williams collects a loose puck and beats Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford with 5:37 left in the first period.
The goal was set up when Kings center Brad Richardson flipped the puck toward Williams from behind the net after Crawford failed to effectively clear it.
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick already has 13 saves.
Right after the Kings are penalized, Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw is hit with an interference penalty and the teams will be skating 4-on-4 for 1:44.
Chicago’s Patrick Kane pressures Quick, who makes a nice save with his right glove.
The Blackhawks, with 9:00 left in the first, have nine shots on goal to the Kings’ zero. Still. Quick covers up another.
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quennville said his team is playing with “great pace.”
Kings winger Dustin Penner grabs around the neck of Chicago forward Michael Handzus as Crawford covers up a shot. Penner is penalized for roughing with 8:11 remaining.
The Kings at least have now officially mustered a shot.
Los Angeles defenseman Matt Greene sweeps the puck up the ice.
Chicago winger Brandon Saad fails to follow a shot by defenseman Nick Leddy that hit Quick in the mask and bounced to Saad.
The Kings have killed the penalty.
Offsides on Chicago, 5:47 left in the period. Scoreless.
Kings forward Dwight King nearly had a clean, close look at beating Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, but King wasn't quick enough to get the puck past Crawford from behind the net.
An icing on the Kings sets up another faceoff in front of goalie Jonathan Quick.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook fires a blue-line shot that Quick gloves.
Big hit on Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin by Chicago winger Andrew Shaw.
A hard shot by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith bounces off Quick, and two Blackhawks converge, but Quick covers seconds after the Kings barely avoided a too-many-on-the-ice penalty.
Then, the Kings are penalized, forward Kyle Clifford getting a delay of game 8:21 into the first.
After a rousing national anthem at United Center, the game is underway, pitting Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and his 1.50 goals-against average against Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and his 1.70 average.
Chicago won the opening faceoff, the Kings moving back up ice led by captain Dustin Brown and center Anze Kopitar on the first line. Los Angeles is 1-5 in road playoff games this postseason.
The Kings get a turnover, but can’t find an open shot. Kings center Jarret Stoll, sidelined since taking a high hit by the Raffi Torres in Game 1 against the Sharks, has entered the game.
Through three minutes, Chicago has four shots on goal, the Kings none.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook gets off the best shot yet, Quick stops it.
Dustin Brown has delivered two strong hits, one against Chicago star Marian Hossa.
The last two Stanley Cup champions begin their pursuit to reach the NHL’s final round today in Chicago, with the Kings attempting to eliminate the Blackhawks, a powerful team with the league’s best regular-season record.
Jeff Carter, with five playoff goals, and Mike Richards, with 10 points in the postseason, will lead the defending Stanley Cup-champion Kings against Chicago and its gifted goaltender, Corey Crawford.
Left wing Bryan Bickell has five playoff goals for the Blackhawks, who rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate the Detroit Red Wings earlier this week.
The Kings will rely on returning Conn Smythe Award-winning goalie Jonathan Quick, who has given up just 20 goals in 13 playoff games.
Kings center Jarret Stoll, who was crushed by a hit in the first game of conference semifinals agains the San Jose Sharks and has been sidelines since, will return to action today in place of 21-year-old forward Tyler Toffoli.