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Golden Knights run away with Game 1 vs. Blackhawks

The Golden Knights get off on the right foot, easily flying past the Blackhawks in the opening game of their First Round series.

The Golden Knights won Game 1 handily by beating the Blackhawks 4-1, but that’s not to say Chicago was never in the game. Nonetheless, the Golden Knights erased any drama in a one-sided third period to take a 1-0 series lead against the Blackhawks after Game 1.

Golden Knights didn’t dominate Blackhawks at first, but won Game 1 convincingly

Seeing a tie through the first period of Game 1 of Golden Knights - Blackhawks wasn’t that surprising. It was a little surprising to see these two explosive teams end the opening frame tied 0-0, though.

It was a surprisingly shy start, but things picked up during the second period. After Shea Theodore started the scoring with a 1-0 goal, the Golden Knights made it 2-0 on a borderline call. Was Ryan Reaves offside on that 2-0 goal? It was close, but many believed he was -- including NBCSN’s own Pierre McGuire. Instead, the goal stood, and the Blackhawks received a penalty for their offside-challenging troubles.

If you were expecting the Blackhawks to roll over, you would’ve been wrong. Instead of making things worse, the Blackhawks penalty kill responded with a nice goal to make it 2-1. For those who thought that Vegas’ second goal shouldn’t have counted, there was a form of justice.

But it wouldn’t really matter. Reilly Smith scored two power-play goals during the third period, including at least one that Corey Crawford would unquestionably want back.

Just like that, a competitive 2-1 game turned into a convincing 4-1 win for the Golden Knights against the Blackhawks in Game 1. While it didn’t happen exactly how (or at least ... when?) we expected, the favorites held serve in Game 1. For the Blackhawks, they’ll need to find ways to get to their (briefly) former goalie Robin Lehner.

Next time, they’ll need more than Lehner’s skate to fall apart.

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks (Vegas leads series 1-0)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Vegas 4, Chicago 1
Thursday, Aug. 13: Chicago at Vegas, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Vegas at Chicago, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
Sunday, Aug. 16: Vegas at Chicago, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Tuesday, Aug. 18: Chicago at Vegas – TBD
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Vegas at Chicago – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Chicago at Vegas – TBD

*if necessary

Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.