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Article posted: 6/1/2013 10:47 PM

Setting pace early on was important

The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Chicago.

The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Chicago.

 

Associated Press

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Q. What did you see from the Blackhawks in Game 1 that you liked?

A. I liked what I saw from them as far as setting the pace and the tempo right off the bat.

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I thought their transition, to be able to move out of their end and head toward L.A.'s end of the ice was very good all game long. And that kind of took a little bit away from the physicality that the Kings want to bring to the table.

They didn't hesitate. They didn't hold on to the puck too long, and they made good plays with good support. That's one of the things Joel Quenneville wanted -- good support defensively inside your own zone to get the transition working.

Q. The Hawks really could've gotten frustrated after that first period, but they stuck with it, didn't they?

A. They did, and the thing is you can take a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you did play a very good first period. And if they continued playing that way with the quality chances that they had, they had the mindset that they were going to be OK. It's not necessarily the shots that they had but the kind of shots they had and where they came from.

Q. Is Game 1 going to be a microcosm of the series?

A. I think so. The Blackhawks want to play that up-tempo game and keep the L.A. Kings on their heels as much as possible. Obviously, expect a better performance from the Kings in Game 2.

You saw what happened in the Round 1 series with L.A. against St. Louis; they lost both those games in St. Louis and it looked like St. Louis was off and running. It didn't turn out that way.

But it's a long series and expect it to be a long series. You've got one in the bank right now, but expect that the L.A. Kings are going to make some adjustments and they'll be much better in Game 2.

Troy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team's radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 career games.

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