"Steen is not going to miss from the ladies' tee there,"
Steen, who led the Blues with 33 goals in the regular season,
converted a pass from behind the net from right winger Steve Ott 26
seconds into the third overtime Thursday night, giving the Blues a
4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round
Western Conference playoff series.
The goal, Steen's fifth in 20 postseason games, ended the longest
game in Blues franchise history, with 40:26 of overtime played. The
old record was 37:07 set on April 7, 1984, at Detroit. It also was
the first opening game of a playoff series to go to triple overtime
since 1951 and only the third triple-OT postseason-series opener in
"It was a great play (by Ott)," Steen said. "I think he kind of knew
I was coming. We're happy to get the first win."
The Blues trailed 3-2 after a wild first period. St. Louis left
winger Jaden Schwartz scored the first playoff goal of his career
with 1:45 to play in the third period to send the game to overtime.
From there, the Blues relied on goalie Ryan Miller to extend the
game. He stopped 21 shots in the first two overtimes, each of which
included a Chicago power play when a St. Louis player was called for
delay of game.
The game did not start the way Miller hoped, as he allowed the three
goals on Chicago's first seven shots on target.
"In the first period it didn't seem like it was going to go so well,
so I had to hunker down a little bit," Miller said. "You get lucky
on a few situations, and you've got to battle through the rest. It's
just nice to come out at the end of this with a win."
Miller, playing his first playoff game since 2011, when he was with
the Buffalo Sabres, made 39 saves, 35 of them after the first
"I had to enter the battle sometime," he said. "They had a couple of
nice shots in the first. I just tried to shrug it off after the
first and keep going. It's not about one period. It's about the
culmination of winning four of seven games.
"We needed it for confidence, I think. We needed it to show that
stretch we had to finish the season (six consecutive losses) was
behind us. The guys needed this, but we have to understand that they
are a very talented team with a ton of talent. They've got the
experience of winning. Hopefully we can carry the confidence forward
knowing it is going to be a hard-fought series."
After the teams had traded the first four goals of the game — with
Chicago getting one from defenseman Johnny Oduya and a power-play
goal from defenseman Brent Seabrook and the Blues' goals coming from
right winger Adam Cracknell and right winger Vladimir Tarasenko — Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway with 1:36
left in the opening period.
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Kane was playing for the first time after missing the final 12 games
of the regular season because of a knee injury. Tarasenko was in St.
Louis' lineup for the first time since March 15. He had been out
with a broken right hand.
Goalie Corey Crawford (48 saves) made the Blackhawks' lead stand up
until Schwartz found a way to tie the game and send it to overtime.
"I think the big thing for us is we have to realize it's only one
game and we've got a quick turnaround coming back, and that's the
best part about it — we get right back at it and we have to figure
out what we need to do to get better and hopefully we'll get back at
it for Game 2," Kane said.
Game 2 of the series, the first between the longtime rivals in the
playoffs since 2002, will be Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
"I think we're going to keep the morale and keep the feeling in the
locker room positive and feeling good and let this one sink in and
maybe be ticked off for a few minutes about it here, but tomorrow
it's time to move on," Chicago center Jonathan Toews said.
NOTES: The Blackhawks are trying to become the first team to win
consecutive Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and
1998. ... Chicago led the NHL with 267 goals during the regular
season, but the team that led the league in scoring has not won the
Cup since the Pittsburgh Penguins did it in 1991-92. ... While the
Blues got many of their injured players back Thursday night, they
were still without RW T.J. Oshie and C Patrik Berglund. Oshie missed
the last two games of the regular season after taking a hard check
to his head against the Minnesota Wild. He could be cleared to play
in Game 2 on Saturday. Berglund (upper body) is expected to be out
until later in the series.
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