Jonathan Toews leads Blackhawks to Game 1 win over Kings

Jonathan Daniel

Los Angeles couldn't keep pace with Chicago in a spirited Game 1.

SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews continued his march toward a possible Conn Smythe Trophy, leading his team to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

Toews led the Blackhawks with three shots on goal and a goal to go with it, while the Kings failed to beat goalie Corey Crawford at the other end of the ice.

The pace in Game 1 was much slower than what either team faced in the conference semifinals. Both teams were content to pick their spots and play physically, so it wasn't until five minutes left in the first period that Brandon Saad finally broke through with the game's opening goal.

Chicago struggled to create space in the Kings' suffocating defense as the second period began, but Toews eventually drove through Los Angeles' zone and appeared to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead. But after a video review, the referees disallowed the goal due to goaltender interference.

The Kings took advantage of their good fortune minutes later when rookie winger Tyler Toffoli scored his fourth goal of the playoffs just five minutes into the second period. Chicago responded soon after when Duncan Keith fired a bouncing puck over Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's shoulder to restore the Blackhawks' one-goal lead.

Their weary legs failing them after a long seven-game series in Anaheim, the Kings mustered only four shots on goal in the third period. Toews scored on a two-on-one with four minutes remaining to ice Game 1 and give the Blackhawks a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 will take place on Wednesday in Chicago.

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