Chicago Blackhawks take 2-0 series lead over LA Kings
Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus scored with consecutive shots in the second period as the earned a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday in Game Two of the Western Conference finals.
Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook also scored as the rolling Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with their fifth consecutive victory. Patrick Sharp added two assists, and Corey Crawford made 29 saves in another solid performance.
Game Three 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 to eliminate the Blues in the first round.
Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli scored for Los Angeles, but the Kings struggled to score while playing 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.
Richards, who leads the team 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.
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 One victory against Detroit in the conference semifinals.
Shaw got Chicago off to a fast start, taking a nifty pass from Viktor Stalberg and sending a wrist shot past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on the glove side just 1:56 into the game. Marian Hossa set up Seabrook in the final minute for a low liner into the left corner. The defenseman put the Blackhawks into this round with an overtime goal in Game 7 against Detroit on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks added two more in the second, separated by just 2:09. Bickell scored a power-play goal on a rebound in front, and Handzus skated in and beat Quick to make it 4-0 at 9:20.
The capacity crowd of 21,824 roared after Handzus' second goal of the postseason, and cheered even louder when Quick skated off and was replaced by Jonathan Bernier. Quick, last year's playoff MVP who had played every minute of this year's playoffs, finished with 13 saves.
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