Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus scored on consecutive shots in the second period, and Chicago chased goalie Jonathan Quick on its way to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 on Sunday night.
Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook also scored as the rolling Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series with their fifth consecutive victory. Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad had two assists apiece, and Corey Crawford made 29 saves in another solid performance.
"It's a high-speed game. If we use our speed, we'll be all right," Shaw said. "We played our game. That's the difference. The guys played good. We all competed for each other. We did everything we needed to do, keeping it deep in the zone."
Game 3 is Tuesday night at Los Angeles, where the Kings have won 14 consecutive games dating to the regular season. The Kings also lost their first two games of the playoffs at St. Louis before winning four straight to eliminate the Blues in the first round.
Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli had goals for Los Angeles, but the Kings struggled to score without Mike Richards, who was scratched because of an undisclosed upper body injury. The defending Stanley Cup champions have 29 goals in 15 postseason games.
"We've just got to do a better job of playing our game," Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "First of all, we've got to be really clean coming out of our zone, make good short little plays and support one another. Once we do that, we'll do a better job coming out of the neutral zone, because these guys really rely on turnovers."
Richards, who leads the Kings with 10 playoff points, was sidelined after taking a big hit from Dave Bolland in the final minutes of the Blackhawks' 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Richards was "fine" a couple of hours before the game, but the center was scratched from the lineup after participating in pregame warm-ups.
"I think just once his blood got pumping tonight, the adrenaline got going, there were symptoms," Sutter said. "I went in right after warm-up, he was sitting there and I said, `Unless you're 100 percent, you're not playing.'"
The series took on a more physical tone in the second game in two days - a playoff rarity brought on by The Rolling Stones' tour.
The top-seeded Blackhawks also won the series opener in each of the first two rounds, but they dropped three in a row following their Game 1 victory against Detroit in the conference semifinals.
There was no such letdown this time.
"This time of year you try to carry momentum as long as you can," Sharp said. "Every game presents different challenges. We felt great about coming back in that Detroit series. Game 7 was a huge high for us. That seems like a long time ago now. We're past that and we're focused on the Kings."
Shaw got Chicago off to a fast start, taking a nifty pass from Viktor Stalberg and beating Quick on the glove side just 1:56 into the game. Marian Hossa set up Seabrook in the final minute of the period for a low liner into the left corner of the net. The defenseman put the Blackhawks into this round with an overtime goal against Detroit on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks added two more in the second, separated by just 2:09. Bickell scored a power-play goal on a rebound in front, and Handzus skated in and beat Quick to make it 4-0 at 9:20.
"We gave them too many Grade-A scoring chances, and they capitalized," Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "You can't give up those opportunities and expect your goalie to bail you out every single time."
The crowd of 21,824 roared after Handzus' second goal of the postseason, and cheered even louder when Quick skated off and was replaced by Jonathan Bernier. Quick, last year's playoff MVP had played every minute of this year's playoffs. He finished with 13 saves.
Carter converted a one-timer at 18:57 of the second, and Toffoli netted a power-play goal with 1:02 left in the game, but that was it for Los Angeles.
"You've got to find a way," Quick said. "They did their job at home. We've got to go home and do our job now."
The Blackhawks killed three other power plays and have allowed just two goals in 47 attempts in the playoffs.
Crawford heard chants of "Co-rey! Co-rey!" after he stopped Dustin Penner on a quality opportunity late in the second, and the salute resumed when he pulled Kings forward Kyle Clifford off Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews during a scrum with 8:45 left.
"The guy grabbed him, got a couple free shots. I figured it was enough," Crawford said. "I just decided to go in there and grab his head."
Crawford was one of the top goalies in the NHL during the lockout-shortened regular season, and he has carried that into the playoffs. He has allowed just one goal in four of his last six games.
"He's the guy we want in net back there," Sharp said. "He's proven it in the past. It's nice to see him finally get the credit that he deserves."
NOTES: Kings rookie D Jake Muzzin was scratched after playing in the first 14 postseason games. ... Crawford was 1-1 with a 3.54 goals-against average against Los Angeles during the regular season. ... Regehr was hit by a puck during warm-ups and had to get several stitches on his head. ---
Jay Cohen can be reached at HTTP://WWW.TWITTER.COM/JCOHENAP
Kuchar made a clutch 5-foot, par-saving putt on the 17th hole and then closed out a two-stroke win over Kevin Chappell by holing a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday. It gave Kuchar one of the biggest wins of his career and assurance that he can start checking off other items on his to-do list.
"There are a couple of things I thought were missing from my pedigree, my golf history," he said after a 4-under 68 left him at 12-under 276. "A major championship is on the list, and a multiple-win season was on the list. That's something that at the beginning of the year when I set goals. And making the Presidents Cup team was on the list."
Coming up on his 35th birthday later this month, Kuchar, who won earlier this year in the Match Play, has a clear shot at hitting those goals.
He'll be among the handful of top names bandied about at the U.S. Open the week after next at Merion.
"I'll have a lot of confidence," Kuchar said. "I'd love it if I could show up and play good enough golf to win a major. It's something that is up there, No. 1 on the list. I want to do it and feel like I'm ready to do it. But I can only control so much of that equation."
Later this year, he's almost a lock to return to Muirfield Village as a part of the U.S. side in the Presidents Cup matches in October.
"To have kind of sealed the deal with winning this tournament feels really good, to make the team," he said. "Team championships are so much fun. The crowds here are spectacular. I can't wait to see what a Presidents Cup will be like."
Kuchar is known as a steady, if unspectacular player, an optimist with few holes in his swing or his mental approach. Those strengths loomed large in a week during which gusting winds and three weather delays on Thursday seemed to completely frustrate others.
Tiger Woods, the defending champion and a five-time winner at the Memorial, opened with rounds of 71 and 74 but then watched things fall apart. He suffered through 8-over 44 - his worst nine-hole score as a pro - in the swirling gusts on Friday. His round of 79 - matching his second-worst score since turning pro - included two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey.
On Sunday, Woods was already 16 shots behind third-round leader Kuchar going into the round and then had a triple-bogey on his third hole.
He will head to the U.S. Open with several major questions as a result of his erratic iron play and errant putting.
Asked what he'll work on back home in Orlando, Fla., before heading to Merion, Woods didn't narrow it down much.
"Everything," he said. "You want everything clicking on all cylinders, especially at the U.S. Open. Because everything is tested in the U.S. Open."
Rory McIlroy, the 2012 PGA Championship winner and the 2011 U.S. Open champion, like Woods was never a factor in the Memorial. But he felt as if he ironed out some problems after shooting a 72 that left him two shots ahead of Woods at 294.
"I hit the ball much better today. I actually putted a little better, too. It feels pretty good," he said. "I get to see Merion a couple of days next week, too, so that will be beneficial. It's not that far away."
Chappell, who birdied the final two holes to put some pressure on Kuchar, said he never really felt like he could overcome a player who's so steady.
"I wasn't part of the conversation all day," he said. "I played a solid back nine to get close. I hit a good iron shot on 17 and then made the putt. I kind of figured Matt would make his putt. He's world class with that putter and I figured it was over with."
Kuchar conceded that his margin of victory was a little misleading. He felt as if Chappell was right on his heels - particularly as he stood over that testy 5-foot par putt on the next-to-last hole. A miss and his lead would be down to a stroke.
"The putt on 17, I'd say that one I knew I had to make," Kuchar said. "That was the one point where I felt like if I don't, I could lose this."
After he dropped in that putt, he followed by hitting his drive into the fairway on the difficult, uphill closing hole. From there his second shot ended up 21 feet from the hole. With a mammoth gallery surrounding the green and watching from the newly reconstructed clubhouse, he then curled in the birdie putt to double his margin.
Kyle Stanley shot a 71 and was at 281, alone in third and three shots back of Chappell. Tied for fourth were Scott Stallings, who matched James Driscoll for the low round of the day with a 67, and second-round leader Bill Haas (71). Russell Henley (69) and Matt Jones (72) were at 283. First-round leader Charl Schwartzel shot a 72 and led a group another shot back.
After Kuchar, who climbed to a career-best No. 4 in the world rankings, hit his clinching putt on the final hole, he was met by a happy greeting party: wife Sybi, sons Cameron and Carson. They smiled, kissed and hugged to celebrate his sixth career PGA Tour victory.
Also there was Memorial Tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus, shaking Kuchar's hand after high-fiving Carson.
"We're delighted that he is our champion," Nicklaus said. "I know that this will probably not be his last win here or elsewhere."
If that's true, Kuchar's wish list will be getting even shorter.
Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: HTTP://WWW.TWITTER.COM/RUSTYMILLERAP
A Cahokia school security guard is accused of possessing marijuana with plans to deal it at the middle school where he worked.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 29-year-old Alvin Golliday of Cahokia was arrested Friday after police found marijuana in his car. They used a dog to search Lincoln Middle School for drugs.
Golliday is behind bars (Monday) this morning on $75,000 bond.
While tornado cleanup continues in some parts of the St. Louis metro area, sandbagging is underway in other parts. The Great River Road is closed between Alton and Graffton because it's under water.
Water surrounds the Con Agra plant off Highway 100 in Alton and the Alton Belle Casino has closed for the first time because of flooding along the Mississippi. The river is expected to crest in Alton on Tuesday at 36 feet -- that's within a foot of the historic flood of 1973.
Alton isn't the only community affected by high rivers. The National Weather Service says the river should crest today 11 feet above flood stage at Grafton.
MoDOT has closed Highway 94 between West Alton and Highway 67 in northern St. Charles County. The highway is also closed between Augusta, Mo. and Defiance, Mo. in St. Charles County.
Centaur Road is closed behind Spirit of St. Louis Airport at Chesterfield Valley due to the rising Missouri River.
Highway 67 is closed in Herculaneum due to flooding.