Frederik Andersen (Getty Images)
If the Western Conference final comes down to a duel between goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Corey Crawford, Andersen has shown the early edge. Down and out in the first period with the puck on Patrick Kane's stick, Andersen made a lunging stick save that might stand up as the save of the series.
One of the big matchups in the Western Conference final is going to be Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen against the collective firepower of the Chicago Blackhawks, and in Game 1 of the series Andersen stole the show early.
Following an Anaheim turnover inside their own blueline, Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane jumped all over the loose puck and had a clear path to the net. Kane, the ever-patient sniper, waited out Andersen until it looked as if he had the netminder entirely out of position and a wide open net to shoot at. That's when Andersen reached out his paddle and denied Kane with what could stand as the save of the series for the entire round:
The stop by Andersen was one of 16 the Ducks goaltender had to make in the first frame, but he kept the Blackhawks off the board through the series-opening first period and left Kane shaking his head in the process.
In the post-season so far, Andersen has been on fire with an 8-1 record, one shutout, a 1.96 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Of the goaltenders to suit up in these playoffs, Andersen's GAA ranks fifth and his SP is seventh best.
Coming into this post-season, Andersen had a 3-2 record, 3.10 GAA, .899 SP.