CHICAGO — Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Saturday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Corey Crawford made 21 saves, and the Blackhawks generated just enough offense to improve to 7-1 at home in the playoffs.
Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday.
Jonathan Quick stopped 34 shots, and Justin Williams scored for Los Angeles, which has won just one of seven road games in the playoffs.
Williams has scored the last three goals for the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings. He was responsible for all of Los Angeles’ offense in a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of the second-round series on Tuesday.
The Blackhawks and Kings returned to the ice after getting through strenuous second-round series.
Top-seeded Chicago stormed back to beat Detroit after trailing 3-1 in the series, winning Game 7 on Brent Seabrook’s overtime goal Wednesday night. Fifth-seeded Los Angeles was pushed to the brink of elimination by the Sharks in a series in which the home team won every game.
For the first period and much of the second of the conference finals opener, Chicago looked hopeless against Quick and Los Angeles’ talented defensemen.
Drew Doughty, Robyn Regehr and Co. kept the Blackhawks’ fleet forwards in check, and Quick made it look as if there was a white wall moving from side to side in net.
As they did against Detroit, the Blackhawks began to create more quality chances when they put more traffic in front.
With 7½ minutes left in the second, Sharp skated into the zone, left the puck for Johnny Oduya and kept moving forward. When Quick kicked away Oduya’s slap shot, the puck went right to Sharp, who scored into the lower right corner to tie it 1-1 with his eighth playoff goal.
Sharp created another strong opportunity a few minutes later, but Brandon Saad shot wide right on a potential tip-in.
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure and went ahead when Hossa had a beautiful midair tip on Duncan Keith’s long slap shot at 16:22 of the second. The puck landed in the lower right corner again before Quick could find the puck in the group of bodies near the net.
Bruins 3, Penguins 0
PITTSBURGH -- David Krejci scored two more goals during his torrid postseason and the Boston Bruins shut down the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of the Eastern Conference final.
Nathan Horton added an insurance goal in the third period and Tuukka Rask stopped 29 shots for the Bruins, who silenced Sidney Crosby and the rest of the NHL’s top-scoring team.
Pittsburgh came in averaging a league-high 4.27 goals in the playoffs but couldn’t solve Rask. The Penguins hit the post six times and seemed a little bit off following an eight-day break between rounds.
The Bruins were coming off a similar layoff but had no such issues. Krejci scored early, and the Bruins handed Pittsburgh its worst loss of the playoffs.
Game 2 is Monday night.