LA Kings fought the good fight but they were no match for the well-rested, motivated and extremely confident Blackhawks. Chicago steamrolled past the visiting team and scored in each period, en route to a pragmatic victory that was never in doubt.
Odds: Winner Sports 2.00
Chicago sent just 20 shots at the net defended by Jonathan Quick, but three of them went past the veteran goalie, while Crawford allowed a single goal. The Blackhawks dominated the first period but conceded the initiative in the second, allowing the Kings to outshoot them 3 to 1. They were also denied a goal and Los Angeles tied the score for less than 8 minutes, but overall the visitors looked toothless and tired.
It comes as no surprise that LA has a hard time adjusting to this intense sequence of games, as they played 7 matched in the previous series. Coming from behind twice to win against all odds has its merits, but the effort was tremendous and took its toll. There are not many fitness concerns for the Kings and virtually all players are fit to play, but fatigue is a big factor. Against a team such as Chicago, you can’t afford to react and that’s exactly what the Kings did in the opening game, eventually paying the price.
The Kings will have two days off before facing the Blackhawks in the second match of the series, but it is unlikely for them to find a miraculous solution. Chicago was clearly the better team in the first match and with Toews, Sharp and Kane in superb form, they will probably dominate the series. For the time being, punters should take even odds offered by Winner Sports for a regulation time victory for Chicago.