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RECAP: Blackhawks Drop Game 1 to Golden Knights, 4-1

Chicago falls behind 1-0 in First Round series against Vegas

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum / Blackhawks.com

The Blackhawks dropped Game 1 of the First Round on Tuesday night, 4-1, to the Vegas Golden Knights. 

David Kampf scored his first playoff goal in the second frame off a shorthanded forecheck from Brandon Saad, while Corey Crawford stopped 29 of 33 shots he faced on the night. 

STAT OF THE NIGHT: Kampf is the first Blackhawk to score his first NHL playoff goal while shorthanded since Stephane Matteau did so in Game 4 of the 1992 Division Semifinals vs. St. Louis.

UP NEXT: Chicago and Vegas meet again in Game 2 on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 CT.


GAME RECAP

The opening frame was a scoreless one as both teams largely felt each other out defensively. Vegas led shots 9-5 after 20 minutes as a majority of the looks from each side came from distance. 

Vegas broke through in the second frame with a pair of quick goals, first from Shea Theodore. On of the league's top scoring defensemen in the regular season, Theodore walked down from the point and put a wrister through a pair of bodies, one in each jersey, in front for a 1-0 lead at 7:22 of the middle frame. 

Just 2:17 later, the Golden Knights struck again as Ryan Reaves spun and put a quick shot on goal in tight that Corey Crawford made the initial stop on before a hard-charging William Carrier knocked home the rebound in the crease for a 2-0 lead at 9:39.

Chicago challenged the play for an offsides call and, after standing upon review, went to the penalty kill for the first time on the night. 

It was on that kill when the Blackhawks struck for the first time on the night a man down. Saad put a hard forecheck on the game's opening scorer, Theodore, forcing a turnover and then finding the late trailer in Kampf. The Czech forward ripped a wrister past the glove of Robin Lehner to cut Vegas' lead to 2-1 at 10:51 of the second. 

Video: CHI@VGK, Gm1: Saad, Kampf connect for pretty SHG

The Golden Knights re-gained a two-goal lead early in the third as Reilly Smith walked into the zone off a neutral zone turnover and put a shot on goal from the flank of the ice. Crawford got most of the rising shot with his shoulder, but the puck continued its momentum, arcing into the empty cage behind him at the 3:32 mark for a 3-1 lead. 

Smith added his second of the night off a rush at the 8:14 mark of the final frame, receiving a feed from Jonathan Marchessault to spring him on the partial breakaway before sending a rolling puck skyward over Crawford for a 4-1 Vegas lead. 

Chicago was limited to six shots in the final frame as Vegas held on for the 4-1 victory in Game 1.

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