2015 Western Conference Finals Game 1 Recap
By: Nick Lanciani
In front of a packed Honda Center the 2015 Western Conference Finals between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks got underway with Game 1 on Sunday afternoon. The Ducks beat the Blackhawks 4-1 as Frederik Andersen picked up the win in a 32 save performance. Chicago’s, Corey Crawford, was dealt the loss despite his 24 saves on 27 shots on goal. Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm opened up the scoring in the series at 8:48 of the first period to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead, despite trailing in shots on goal for the entire period.
After a dominating first period without any results on the scoreboard to prove it, the Blackhawks had little to show in the second period for nineteen minutes of it. Anaheim continued to impress with their complete domination, a trend that they’ve held in their first nine Stanley Cup Playoff games played this year.
Kyle Palmieri put the Ducks up 2-0, with his first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, assisted by Nate Thompshon at 4:17 of the 2nd period. Anaheim would then go about ten minutes without another shot on goal.
After Corey Perry’s lone penalty for the Ducks in the first period, Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson was sent to the box for tripping Jakub Silfverberg. Anaheim wasn’t able to capitalize on their first power play opportunity, despite recording two shots on goal in the duration of their man advantage.
At 19:20 of the 2nd period, Brad Richards stole the puck and fired home a wrist shot on Frederik Andersen, getting the Blackhawks on the board and trimming Anaheim’s lead in half. The score was then a close 2-1 game heading into intermission.
The third period saw more of the same. The Ducks were charging hard, while Andersen and a lack of puck luck kept denying the Blackhawks. Nate Thompson tacked on a goal for Anaheim to make it 3-1 with 7:55 remaining. Chicago pulled Crawford with about two minutes left in regulation, but the Ducks capitalized on a rare Jonathan Toews turnover that led to a Silfverberg empty net goal to make it 4-1.
With the win the Ducks improved to 6-0 at home during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs while the Blackhawks fell to 3-3 on the road. Anaheim leads the series 1-0 and looks to remain unbeatable on home ice in Game 2 as Chicago looks to ruin the party and hand the Ducks their first loss on home ice. Game 2 is on Tuesday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on NBCSN.