CHICAGO - Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, Corey Crawford made 20 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the 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 opening 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 straight time dating to last season.
The series resumes on Saturday afternoon at the United Center.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap