The Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals Stanley Cup Playoff series on May 17. Anaheim leads the series, 1-0.
The Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals Stanley Cup Playoff series on May 17.
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The Ducks got goals from Hampus Lindholm, Kyle Palmieri, Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg and a 32-save effort from goaltender Frederik Andersen to earn a 1-0 series lead over the Blackhawks, per Adam Brady of the Ducks' official website.
The Ducks upped their playoff record to 9-1. Andersen has allowed just 19 goals during that stretch. He recorded 16 saves in the first period against Chicago on Sunday, per Brady.
"I felt good, felt sharp early on," Anderson told the Ducks' official website. "They gave me some shots to feel early in the game. We played a lot better in the second and third, and that gave us a bit of momentum."
Anaheim got the victory despite just getting a combined one point from Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler. Getzlaf was credited with an assist on Silfverberg's goal in the third period, per Brady.
The Ducks got on the board at the 8:48 mark of the first period when Silfverberg created separation between himself and Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith to send the puck to Lindholm, whose one-timer went into the net for a 1-0 lead, per Brady.
Chicago managed 16 shots on goal afterward, only to have Andersen foil each and every one. He even had a lunging stick save on Blackhawks ring wing Patrick Kane, per Brady.
The Blackhawks managed 16 shots on goal afterward, only to have Andersen foil each and every one. He even had a lunging stick save on Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, per Brady.
Andersen described how he managed to thwart Kane's attempt, per the Ducks' official website:
"I played aggressive, but he was patient and tried to get me moving laterally. I knew I had to throw my stick over and take away as much of the net as I could. Luckily, he hit the stick.
"I thought I did everything right on the play," Kane told The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus.
Thompson also told Brady that stick save helped the Ducks stay calm:
"Whenever he can make big saves like that, you can tell on the bench that we kind of calmed down. We relaxed, we rebounded. Those are timely saves he's making for us, and it helps out team out in the long run."
Anaheim upped its lead to 2-0 with 4:17 left in the second period when Chicago netminder Corey Crawford deflected Thompson's behind-the-net pass right into Palmieri, who recorded the goal, per Brady.
Around three minutes later, the Blackhawks trimmed the deficit to 2-1 when Brad Richards scored in transition off a Francois Beauchemin turnover, per the Ducks' official website.
The Ducks managed to stave off a potential Blackahakws rally by killing two penalties before Thompson's rebound goal off Crawford's save on Andrew Cogliano made it 3-1 with 7:55 left in the contest, per Brady.
Anaheim further cushioned its lead on an empty netter from Silfverberg which bounced off Chicago forward Jonathan Toews with 1:18 left in the game, per the Ducks' official website.
After the game, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau hailed Palmieri, Thompson and Cogliano:
"In the playoffs, there is somebody throughout history in any sport who comes up and plays better -- and their numbers are better -- than in the regular sesaon. You're not going to win unless you have four lines playing.
"Palmieri, Thompson and Cogliano were very good today. Those guys played really good, but you need it if you want to be successful.
"We got luck a few times that they (Blackhawks) didn't score a couple of goals. We made a couple of adjustments and played better in the second and third. I still don't think it was our A game. We were opportunistic tonight.
"We're going to have to play better if we want to continue to stay with these guys."
On the other hand, Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad told The Chicago Sun-Times he's optimistic he and his teammates can bounce back:
"We've been back in a series before. We can't panic out there. It's a long series. It's seven games. We've just got to take the positives and move on. Tomorrow's another day.
"They played a patient game. I thought out of the gate, we played a pretty good start and felt good about ourselves. Throughout the second and third periods, it just got progressively worse, and they took advantage."
For the game, the Blackhawks outshot the Ducks, 33-27. However, it was a balanced effort and Andersen's superior goaltending which proved to be the difference, per The Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine.
Game 2 will be at the Ducks' Honda Center at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 19.
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