The Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in the first game of the Western Conference Final Saturday night in Chicago. The following is a post-game transcript from Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Duncan Keith:
Q. Patrick, just as far as getting to Jonathan Quick, you knew it wasn't going to be easy. Talk about getting more traffic.
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, he's a good goalie. We all know that. He
makes saves. He makes saves when he sees the puck, when he doesn't see the
puck. Anytime you can get those second and third chances, that's the idea.
We were fortunate with a couple goals in the second period.
Q. Was there any frustration to have out-shot them and be down?
DUNCAN KEITH: Not really. Obviously it's not the score we'd like
after a first period, but we knew there was a lot of hockey left to be
played. We were happy with the way we played other than that goal.
But thought we did a good job just sticking with it, regrouping after
that period, knowing that we had a pretty strong period. Just tried to
keep going from that, stick with it.
Q. Patrick, could you walk us through that score?
PATRICK SHARP: Started in our zone with a quick pass by [Michal] Handzus.
Got out of our end clean. Attacked on the rush. I said on the ice, We got
six D that can all skate, can all make plays. Johnny Oduya made a great
play to activate and jump up. That's something that every team works on in
practice, shoot off that pad and go into the net for the rebound. I was
fortunate it came right to me.
Q. Duncan, can you talk about the way you're transitioning out of
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, I think it's something we talk about, trying to
have good breakouts. I think it helps a lot when our forwards do a good
job coming back supporting us, allowing us to make those short plays.
L.A. is good at it. They're a good forechecking team. They got a
lot of big guys that get in there hard. It's not easy.
Q. Duncan, can you talk about the late stages of the game. Dave
[David] Bolland's hit, a different strategy with a minute and a half.
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, it was a great defensive play by Bolly.
Obviously good of him to get up in the play, too, and create that
power-play for us.
You know, we were up by one goal. Just want to be smart with the
puck. I thought we moved it around the way we wanted to there. Just
trying to be a little conservative there, protect our lead.
Q. Duncan, can you talk about Bryan Bickell's play on Marian's goal
in the second, maybe how you think he played in that line.
DUNCAN KEITH: I think he's been great. He's been rock solid for us
all playoffs long. I think any line that he's on, because of his size, his
physicality out there, he provides a lot of space for his linemates. He
does a good job getting it on the forecheck for us.
It was a nice pass by him to throw it back to me there. I had some
time to walk it.
He played a great game tonight. He's been a big part of our offense
and our physical play all season long really.
Q. Patrick, shots on goal, is that the game strategy, pepper him
with as many shots as you can get off?
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, I don't know if it's the be all, end all of our
game strategy. You want to send the puck to the net whenever you can. We
don't get caught up too much in statistics, shots on net.
As I mentioned earlier, he's going to make those saves on the
outside. It's getting into the inside. It's out-working their defensemen
to get those second and third opportunities.
Quick is a good goalie. Try not to talk about him too much. Just
focus on what we can control out there and find a way to beat him.
Q. Patrick, what was the difference in the way you guys attacked in
the second period as opposed to the first, and why do you think it was
PATRICK SHARP: I'm not sure anything was really different. First
period, we came out, we were skating well, generated a lot of pucks on net.
What I mentioned earlier, didn't get a lot to the inside. I thought we
skated well all three periods.
Seems like when you score that first goal, the crowd gets into it,
you have the momentum going. [Marian] Hossa scored quickly after.
All in all we can be happy with the 60 minutes we played, but we know
it's going to be tougher as the series goes on. Every series we've been a
part of gets more physical and more difficult as it goes on.
Q. Patrick, after three straight elimination wins, do you think it's
helped tighten the games of everyone?
PATRICK SHARP: Every game is tight out there. There's not a whole
lot of room. It's tough to get to the net, to get scoring chances. We did
our best to put that series behind us against the Wings. It was a huge
Game 7. We felt great after the game. We tried to carry that momentum
into this series and start fast.
Feels good to get that first win. But as I mentioned earlier,
there's a long way to go.
Q. Duncan, how much does experience play into this? Brent mentioned
at the end of the game, you burned a couple teams shorthanded in the
playoffs before. How much does experience help?
DUNCAN KEITH: I think you can always use any little bit of
experience to your advantage. I think L.A. has a lot of experience, too.
I think everybody's situation is different.
In our situation we were with the lead there late in the game. We've
had situations like that before. We've kept that lead. So it was good to
see us keep it and stick with our game plan and just keep trying to be
You know, as much as experience helps you, you still have to go out
there and execute and perform.
Q. Patrick, it looked like the game out there didn't have the same
pace and intensity of a Game 7. Is it hard to come down and start over?
PATRICK SHARP: Maybe a little bit. I mentioned earlier, every
series gets more physical and intense as it goes along. Both teams played
a strong game for Game 1. Weren't a whole lot of scoring chances from both
sides. Probably going to see a lot more of that going forward.
Game 7 is a special night, whatever building it's in. Being here a
couple nights ago, that's the pace we want to play at, that's where we want
to get to, and I'm sure we will.
Q. Patrick, can you talk about the short turnaround, playing in less
than 24 hours.
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, it's tough. It's probably not ideal. Both
teams are in the same situation. So there's no excuse there.
It's that time of year where you feel like you're playing every day,
whether you got a day off or two days off. I don't think it's an issue
from our side.
DUNCAN KEITH: Yeah, it's the same both ways, right? So just have to
try to take care of yourself, get the rest when you can.
Obviously tonight would be ideal (laughter). But, you know, it's
back at it again. It's going to be good in a way just to get back right at
it, no time to think.