Hawks fall to Blues in first playoff game

The playoff series between the Hawks and Blues was expected to be a high-powered and physical, and the two teams did not disappoint in a raucous first game that resulted in a 4-3 triple OT victory for St. Louis.  Alexander Steen would get the winning goal 26 seconds into the third overtime period.

 

It was the Blues who would strike first less than five minutes into the first period, as Adam Cracknell got a tip-in past Corey Crawford to put St. Louis up.

 

The Hawks would respond at 11:14 into the first, as Johnny Oduya got his own tip-in against Ryan Miller after a shot from Brandon Saad got to the front of the net. Less than three minutes later, the Hawks would take the lead for the first time in the game on a slapper by Brent Seabrook whistled past Miller at 14:39 of the period.

 

Not to be deterred, the Blues would tie the game back up less than two minutes later when recently returned Vladimir Tarasenko would get a wrister at 15:52 of the period.

 

Patrick Kane would end the crazy scoring in the first after he put the puck behind Miller on a nifty play after getting a pass from teammate Jonathan Toews.

 

After a wild first period, the second period would remain scoreless, in part to a couple of spectacular saves by Crawford to keep the lead for Chicago. 

 

Things would start to get really heated in the third.  The Hawks failed to capitalize on a power play, and after trading penalties the teams started getting physical.  The hit of the night was Niklas Hjalmarsson laying out captain David Backes.

 

The Blues would tie the game back up yet again with just under two minutes to go in the third, after the Blues corralled the puck from behind the net and Jaden Schwartz stuffed the puck between Crawford’s legs.

 

The game would go to overtime, and then a second, and the story of the night was easily the goaltenders.  Both Miller and Crawford played extremely well, keeping the games close and shutting down opportunities at both ends of the ice.

 

The game ended suddenly at the beginning of the third overtime, as the Blackhawks lost control of the puck below the goal line, and Steen elevated a shot over Crawford's blocker to win the first game of the series.

 

Stars of the Game:

1. Alexander Steen: 1 G, 6 SOG, 35:33

2. Vladimir Tarasenko: 1 G, 7 SOG, 23:52

3. Jaden Schwartz: 1 G, 1 SOG, 2 H

 

The Hawks will face off against St. Louis on Saturday for Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

 

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