On the day before Game 1, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and head coach Joel Quenneville were asked about how to solve Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Both of their answers involved "traffic" and "second opportunities," something the Blackhawks used Saturday in their a 2-1 victory to take a 1-0 series lead.
Chicago did everything they could to beat Quick in the first period, but the Kings netminder wouldn't allow any of the 17 shots fired by the Blackhawks past him. Meanwhile, the Kings managed just two shots on Corey Crawford at the other end, one of them coming off of Justin Williams' stick for a 1-0 lead.
Finally, in the second period, the Blackhawks figured out Quick, who had allowed seven goals in his previous five games entering Game 1. First, Chicago cashed in on one of those "second opportunities" when Johnny Oduya's shot bounced off Quick's pad and onto Patrick Sharp's stick, who then put it home for his NHL-leading eighth goal of the playoffs.
"[Oduya] activating there kind of opened things up," Sharp told NBC Sport Network's Brian Engblom afterward. "We practice that every day, pass off pads. [I'm] fortunate it came right to my stick."
Four minutes later, the Blackhawks took the lead for good when Marian Hossa deflected Duncan Keith's point shot for the 2-1 lead late in the second period.A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
It was textbook answer on how to beat any goalie, especially Quick: Get traffic in front; hope for a rebound/deflection/seeing-eye puck.
In the third period, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter tried to give his team some jump, shuffling the lines throughout. It didn't work. Crawford finished with 21 saves and held his opponent to just one goal for the fourth time in his last five games.
Last year, the Kings went 10-1 on the road in the playoffs. This year, they're now 1-6, following up an 8-12-4 record away from Staples Center during the regular season. Facing a second series without home-ice advantage, the wins away from home will need to come to get by the Blackhawks.
It's a quick turnaround for Game 2, which will see puck drop at 8 p.m. ET. Sunday.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy