Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, Corey Crawford made 20 saves, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the visiting Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, in the opener of their second-round playoff series Wednesday night.
Chicago dominated the final two periods in its first game in the Western Conference semifinals since it won the Stanley Cup in 2010. Marian Hossa scored the first goal, and Patrick Sharp had an empty-netter and two assists to give him nine points in the playoffs.
Jimmy Howard finished with 38 stops in a terrific performance, but Detroit still lost to rival Chicago for the eighth consecutive time dating from last season.
The series resumes Saturday afternoon at the United Center.
Costly win for Kings
Los Angeles center Jarret Stoll is likely to miss Game 2 of the Kings' second-round playoff series against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
The valuable two-way forward didn't return to the series opener Tuesday after a hard hit from San Jose's Raffi Torres late in the second period of the Kings' 2-0 victory.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter implied Wednesday that Stoll could be out for a significant length of time. Torres travels to New York for a disciplinary hearing Thursday with the NHL's Department of Player Safety, which suspended him until the hearing is completed.
- Associated Press