CHICAGO — Free of the quicksand they had to slog through during their semifinal series against the Wild, the Blackhawks had room to roam against the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference final. And they used it.
Chicago returned to its speed game, recovered after a decision by officials to disallow a goal and continued to ride red-hot goalie Corey Crawford to defeat the Kings 3-1 on Sunday.
"It's nice to have a little space," wing Bryan Bickell said. "It was getting mentally frustrating in that Minnesota series. (The Kings) kind of have a different style, kind of what we bring with our speed."
Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist, and Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews also scored, and Crawford made 25 saves to improve to 9-4 in the postseason with a 1.90 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
Leading 1-0 after a first-period power-play goal by Saad, Toews appeared to have given the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead when his shot after rush to the net was kicked in by Kings defenseman Slava Voynov. Toews sailed into and over goalie Jonathan Quick, and after much discussion — and a league review to determine whether the puck crossed the line — officials waved off the goal. It was determined Toews made incidental contact with Quick that prevented the goalie from making the save.
The Kings got a boost and tied it on Tyler Toffoli's goal just over a minute later. "I thought we lost a little momentum there," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
First—1, Chi, Saad 3 (Leddy, Hossa), 14:46 (pp). Penalties—Martinez, LA (roughing), 12:48.
Second—2, L.A., Toffoli 4 (Pearson, Carter), 4:35. 3, Chi, Keith 3 (Saad, Kruger), 11:54. Penalties—Hjalmarsson, Chi (hooking), 18:57.
Third—4, Chi, Toews 6 (Oduya, Hossa), 16:10. Penalties—Rozsival, Chi (trip), 2:58; Williams, LA (elbow), 7:18. Shots on Goal—L.A. 5-17-4—26. Chi 7-6-7—20. PP opps—L.A. 0 of 2; Chi 1 of 2. Goalies—L.A., Quick 8-7-0 (20 shots-17 saves). Chi, Crawford 9-4-0 (26-25).
Canadiens: The status of goaltender Carey Price, hurt in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against the Rangers on Saturday, should be more clear today for tonight's Game 2, coach Michel Therrien said. Price briefly tested his right knee before an optional practice. He was hurt when Rangers forward Chris Kreider crashed into him skates-first after missing the net on a breakaway. Montreal's Brandon Prust said Kreider ran into Price "accidentally on purpose."
St. Louis funeral: A group of about 50 Rangers players, coaches, staff and management, and owner Jim Dolan attended the funeral of Marty St. Louis' mother at a small chapel in Laval, Quebec, outside Montreal. Also among the approximately 200 in attendance were St. Louis' former Lightning teammates Steven Stamkos, Teddy Purcell and Mike Smith, now with the Coyotes; Tampa Bay trainers, and Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur. France St. Louis died suddenly May 8 at 63 during the Rangers' semifinal series against the Penguins. "Marty took the podium and shared some incredible moments," coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was a very deep message."