Blackhawks strike quick, take 2-0 series lead on Kings
CHICAGO — It was a wrist shot for Andrew Shaw, who leaned back and yelled after his first-period score. Brent Seabrook got in on the action, and Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus added two more goals on consecutive shots in the second.
And just like that, Jonathan Quick was gone.
The Blackhawks chased the Los Angeles Kings’ standout goalie during an impressive display in the opening two periods of a 4-2 victory Sunday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
‘‘It’s a high-speed game. If we use our speed, we’ll be all right,’’ Shaw said. ‘‘We played our game. That’s the difference. The guys played good. We all competed for each other. We did everything we needed to do, keeping it deep in the zone.’’
Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad added two assists apiece as the Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with their fifth consecutive victory. Corey Crawford made 29 saves in another solid performance, drawing chants of ‘‘Co-rey! Co-rey!’’ from the capacity crowd at the United Center.
‘‘We went through a little spurt there in the last series where we were doing the right things but the pucks weren’t going in,’’ Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. ‘‘So now we’re getting the results we want. We can do what we’re doing more often. We can do it better as well in the next few games.’’
Game 3 is Tuesday night at Los Angeles, where the Kings have won 14 consecutive games, dating to the regular season. The Kings also lost their first two games of the playoffs at St. Louis before winning four straight in the first round.
Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli scored for Los Angeles, but the Kings struggled to score without Mike Richards, who was scratched because of an undisclosed upper body injury. The defending Stanley Cup champions have 29 goals in 15 postseason games.
‘‘You’ve got to find a way,’’ Quick said. ‘‘They did their job at home. We’ve got to go home and do our job now.’’
Richards, who leads the Kings with 10 playoff points, was sidelined after taking a big hit from Dave Bolland in the final minutes of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Richards was ‘‘fine’’ a couple of hours before the game, but the center was scratched from the lineup after participating in pregame warm-ups.
‘‘He was fine today, then I think just once his blood got pumping tonight, the adrenaline got going, there were symptoms,’’ Sutter said.
Los Angeles forward Brad Richardson and defenseman Drew Doughty gingerly skated off at separate points of the first period, but both returned.
The series took on a more physical tone in the second game in two days — a rarity in the playoffs brought on by The Rolling Stones’ tour.
The top-seeded Blackhawks also won the series opener in each of the first two rounds, but they dropped three in a row following their Game 1 victory against Detroit.
There was no such letdown this time.
‘‘It was frustrating early on, that series against Detroit, but I think we learned a lot there,’’ defenseman Duncan Keith said.
Crawford was one of the top goalies in the NHL during the lockout-shortened regular season, and he has carried that into the playoffs. He has allowed just one goal in four of his last six games.