NHL: Opening wins for Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins
Last Updated: 02/06/13 8:28am
Marian Hossa: Chicago Blackhawks celebrate
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins claimed victories in the opening games of the NHL Conference finals.
The Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 at home in the first game of the best-of-seven Western Conference finals, while the Bruins notched a valuable 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference series opener.
The Kings - last year's Stanley Cup champions - snatched the lead against the run of play in Chicago at 14:24 thanks to Justin Williams and they then held firm for much of the second period with goalie Jonathan Quick, who stopped 34 shots in the game, in fine form.
However, Chicago levelled with seven minutes remaining in the second when Johnny Oduya's slap shot was kicked away by Quick to Patrick Sharp who scored into the lower right corner.
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure and went ahead when Marian Hossa struck at 16:22 of the second for his sixth goal of the post-season.
There was to be no way back for Los Angeles with Corey Crawford, who made 21 saves, impressing in the home net as Chicago posted their fourth straight win heading into Game 2 on Sunday.
David Krejci was the star of the show for the Bruins as they silenced the Penguins, the NHL's top-scoring team.
Krejci put Boston ahead 8:23 into the game following a sloppy mistake by Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun.
The Penguins, who hit the post six times, tried to battle back in an ill-tempered encounter but Krejci doubled his goal tally 4:04 into the third period before Nathan Horton sealed the win less than four minutes later.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask made 29 saves to record his first shutout in a play-off.