Throughout the Western Conference final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, the team that has drawn first blood has gone on to win every game. So heading into Saturday night’s Game 7, few expected either team to surrender a goal early.
It took less than three minutes for the Blackhawks to get on the board, though, as Chicago captain Jonathan Toews found himself alone in front of the Anaheim goal and was able to bang a rebound home. To get the puck to the net and afford Toews the chance to put the Blackhawks ahead, Niklas Hjalmarsson released a seeing-eye wrister that made its way through a maze of bodies before being stopped by Frederik Andersen. Check out Game 7's opening goal:
Toews’ goal was his eighth of the post-season and fourth tally in the past four contests. It was also his 17th point of the playoffs, matching his total from last year’s post-season in two fewer games. It wouldn't be his last, however.
Before the first frame was through, Toews added a power play tally to extend Chicago’s lead to 2-0, letting go an absolute laser that Andersen didn’t even see fly by him:
Toews’ ninth goal matches his career high, which came during the 2013-14 playoffs, and gives him his seventh multi-goal post-season game.