Power surge lifts Wolves over IceHogs in Game 1

Chicago scored a power play goal in each period and cruised to a 4-1 victory over Rockford in Game 1 of the West Division finals on Thursday at the Allstate Arena.

Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski (pictured) notched a pair of goals for the Wolves, and rookie goaltender Ondrej Pavelec finished with 29 saves on 30 shots.

Kwiatkowski netted his first goal of the playoffs at 15:03 of the opening period, and Darren Haydar made it a 2-0 game 14 minutes into the middle stanza.

Brett Sterling extended the advantage to 3-0 at the 10:12 mark of the third period. AHL MVP Jason Krog assisted on each of the first three Chicago goals, giving him a league-high nine helpers on the playoffs despite not yet scoring a marker of his own.

IceHogs rookie Jack Skille broke Pavelec’s shutout bid with 4:05 left in regulation, notching his first goal of postseason play.

Kwiatkowski then concluded the game’s scoring with an unassisted, empty-net goal at 18:56.

The Wolves finished 3-for-7 on the power play against a Rockford penalty-killing unit that had gone 20-for-20 in a five-game opening-round victory over Houston.

Chicago hosts Game 2 of the series on Saturday.