The Anaheim Ducks are looking like an even bigger threat to win the Stanley Cup after winning Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, 4-1, over the Chicago Blackhawks.
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The game remained close for most of the time, but defenseman Hampus Lindholm opened the game up with a goal in the middle of the first period.
In the second period, left wing Kyle Palmieri scored his first goal of the game with approximately four minutes gone by in the period.
The Ducks appeared to be headed to the second intermission with a comfortable 2-0 lead, but the Blackhawks got back in it as center Brad Richards recovered a turnover from Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
Richards capitalized on his opportunity and scored an unassisted goal with 39 seconds remaining in the second period.
In the third period, the Ducks appeared more vulnerable as defenseman Simon Despres and center Ryan Kesler each committed penalties.
However, Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen held strong as the Blackhawks failed to take advantage of their power-play opportunities.
Ducks center Nate Thompson eventually scored to give the Ducks an insurance goal, and they buried the Blackhawks just over a minute left as their empty-net strategy backfired.
Left wing Jakob Silfverberg scored the dagger for the Ducks.
Andersen shined in the net for the Ducks from start to finish as he made 32 saves while stopping 97 percent of shots taken against him despite being under constant pressure.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford struggled somewhat as he made 23 saves but had an 88.5 save percentage. It remains to be seen whether Scott Darling will receive more starting opportunities if things get worse for the Blackhawks.
The Ducks will host the Blackhawks again for Game 2 on Tuesday.