When most teams turn to their penalty-killing units, it's not necessarily a good thing.

But for the Blackhawks, it's becoming a situation that is almost desired. That might be overstating it a bit, but considering the Blackhawks entered Wednesday's Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Red Wings 17-for-17 on the penalty kill during the playoffs, it might not seem so far-fetched.

There was absolutely no drop-off in Chicago's 4-1 victory at the United Center as it killed off another three penalties to remain perfect for the postseason and allowed just four Detroit shots.

It's something that has been a staple for Chicago all year. It was third in the league during the regular season, killing off 87.2 percent of opponents' power plays and was a big part of them cruising to the Presidents' Trophy.

"Penalty killing gets the credit in the regular season, the first round of the playoffs and again here tonight," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "It's a work in progress and is going to be game-in and game-out.

"We will get tested and challenged with some different looks and situations with the puck by them, but I still thought we did some good things."

The catalysts of the penalty kill have been fourth-liners Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger, who have become the top unit for the Blackhawks. Kruger even added a goal late in the third period Wednesday.

But goaltender Corey Crawford was solid again and now has allowed eight total goals in six playoff games.

Crawford said there has been no secret to the penalty killing, it's been simply a matter of every player putting forth plenty of effort.

"We're getting up ice, pressuring the other team up ice and making it difficult to get in the zone," Crawford said. "When they do get in the zone we're doing a pretty good job of keeping them outside. We're not letting passes and pucks through the box, blocking shots and clearing the rebounds. It's an effort by everyone."
Bolland in for Game 1

The Blackhawks made an interesting change to the lineup for Game 1 by taking out forward Viktor Stalberg and adding Dave Bolland.

Bolland did not play in the first round with an undisclosed injury and Quenneville said the choice to sit Stalberg was a "coach's decision."

"I had a conversation with him so he knows what the situation is," Quenneville said before the game.

"We'll leave it at that."

Bolland had seven goals and seven assists during the regular season and provided a spark for the Blackhawks while centering the third line of Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw.

He had a breakaway chance early in the third period, only to be stopped by Jimmy Howard. But Quenneville was still happy with Bolland's play.

"(He) made a very good contribution in all areas," Quenneville said. "He has good intelligence and that playoff passion he has always brought to our team and it was good to see him get back in the lineup."