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Western Conference Finals: Games 1 and 2 vs. Los Angeles

by Mackenzie McCluer / Chicago Blackhawks
Riding high after their overtime Game 7 thriller against the Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Blackhawks shot out to a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings with back-to-back wins at home. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa — first and second on the team in postseason points respectively — both scored during 2-1 win on June 1, 2013, while the Blackhawks posted the first four goals on June 2 en route to a 4-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions.

U.S. Air Force veteran George Martin, left, carries and presents the Three Fires Midewiwin Eagle Staff during Jim Cornelison's performance of the national anthem on June 1, 2013, while U.S. Army veteran Robert Dahms and Daniel O'Toole of the U.S. Air Force salute the flag. U.S. Marine Corps veteran Barbara Whitehead O'Rourke presented the Eagle Staff during Game 1 of the previous series against the Detroit Red Wings. For more information about the partnership between Chicago Blackhawks Charities and the American Indian Center of Chicago, click here.

Bryan Bickell, Marian Hossa, Joel Quenneville, Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik follow the action from the bench during Game 1.

Corey Crawford puts the stop on Jarret Stoll of the Kings during Game 1. Crawford turned away 21 of 22 shots for a 0.955 save percentage, while Jonathan Quick of the Kings blocked 34 of 36 attempts for a 0.944 save percentage.

Kruger keeps his eye on the puck while colliding with Kings defenseman Slava Voynov along the boards during Game 1.

The team swarms Marian Hossa to congratulate him after he scored in the second period to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead that the Kings would not overcome.

Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp, who had one assist and one goal during Game 1 respectively, take questions from the media after the game. "We felt great after [Game 7 against the Detroit Red Wings]. We tried to carry that momentum into this series and start fast," Sharp said. "It feels good to get that first win, but ... there's a long way to go."

Niklas Hjalmarsson takes part in a game of hallway soccer in the United Center basement before Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings on June 2, 2013. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

tight aerial UC
More than 21,800 fans packed into the United Center on June 2 to watch Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Chicago lead the league in attendance during the 2012-13 regular season, averaging 21,775 attendees per game.

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Andrew Shaw celebrates after scoring to put the Hawks on the board during Game 2, less than two minutes into the start of the first period.

saad celebration
Brandon Saad yells in reaction to Andrew Shaw's goal, for which he tallied an assist. The Calder Memorial Trophy finalist also notched a helper on Bryan Bickell's goal in the second period for a career-high two assists, bringing his postseason total to four.

oduya hit
Johnny Oduya slams into Justin Williams of the Kings during Game 2.

seabrook celebration
Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa congratulate Brent Seabrook on scoring late in the first period during Game 2.

fans celebration
Fans celebrate a goal during Game 2. For more behind-the-scenes sights and sounds from the United Center, watch Blackhawks TV's weekend recap video.

bickel aerial
Bryan Bickell battles Mike Richards and Kyle Clifford of the Kings for control of the puck. Bickell ranked fifth in the NHL in postseason goals through Game 2, when he scored his sixth goal of the playoffs.

hull jersey
Bobby Hull autographs a jersey in a suite at the United Center during Game 2.

saad aerial
Brandon Saad and Anze Kopitar of the Kings skate after the puck during Game 2.

ref fight
Linesman Brian Murphy tries to separate a scrapping Michal Rozsival and Colin Fraser of the Kings as Jonathan Toews faces a scuffle of his own against L.A.'s Kyle Clifford. Corey Crawford got into the mix after Clifford attempted a few gloved punches on Toews. For a replay of the incident, click here.

corey presser
Corey Crawford is all smiles during a post-game press conference alongside Patrick Sharp, where he fielded questions about standing up for his captain and hearing the fans chant his name afterward. "It's obviously nice when they're chanting and not booing you," he joked.

Photos by Bill Smith and Chase Agnello-Dean, unless otherwise noted.

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