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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:13 am 
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BLACKHAWKS at BLUES

(St. Louis leads best-of-7 series, 1-0)

TV: NBC, CBC, RDS

Big story: The opener of this Western Conference First Round series will be hard to top from an entertainment standpoint. Alexander Steen's goal 26 seconds into triple overtime gave the St. Louis Blues a hard-fought victory against the rival Chicago Blackhawks, but the stakes only get higher in Game 2 on Saturday at Scottrade Center (3 p.m. ET).

Each team has positives to take into the next meeting. The Blackhawks got highly skilled right wing Patrick Kane (goal) and captain Jonathan Toews (two assists) back from injuries that sidelined them down the final stretch of the regular season. The Blues saw a group of banged-up players return, including captain David Backes (assist on Steen's goal) and forward Vladimir Tarasenko (goal).

"You try to get as much sleep as you can, but I think everyone feels really good right now," Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford said Friday. "We're in good shape and we're ready to go. We have that hunger, a little bitter taste … I think we had a chance to win that hockey game being up in the third period. Had a couple opportunities, a bunch of opportunities in overtime. We're ready to go for Game 2."

Team Scope:

Blackhawks: They were 105 seconds away from a 3-2 victory in Game 1, but Jaden Schwartz sent it to overtime with a huge goal after forcing a turnover in the Chicago zone. The Blackhawks, who didn't practice Friday, can still swipe home-ice advantage before the series shifts to United Center.

The goal by Schwartz was in line with a trend from the regular season. Chicago coughed up third-period leads in seven of its 22 games that went past regulation, including four two-goal margins. One of those two-goal leads was blown against the Blues in a 6-5 shootout loss Dec. 28 in St. Louis.

"We know they're going to make a push, they're going to keep coming at us," forward Patrick Sharp said Friday. "[Up] 3-2, we would have liked to have scored that fourth goal and have some breathing room, but their goaltender made some saves and they did a good job of kind of limiting our chances. You can spin the game any way you want, and go back and look at missed opportunities or what you could have done differently. The bottom line is they won the first one and we've got a big game [Saturday]."

Blues: Goaltender Ryan Miller came into Game 1 after allowing 33 goals in his final 11 regular-season appearances. He promptly gave up three more to the Blackhawks in the first period, but didn't allow another goal.

Aided by a strong defensive effort in front of him, Miller made 35 more saves and held the Blues in the game until they found a way to win. Forward Maxim Lapierre did bail him out in the first overtime by blocking a wrist shot by Kris Versteeg that would've ended it, but Miller regained his top form after going 0-5-0 with a 3.82 goals-against average in his final five starts of the regular season.

"We were good early, and then they gave us a real push, went up 3-2, caught us kind of napping defensively and then they had a big start to the third period," coach Ken Hitchcock said after an optional practice Friday. "That's where we needed Ryan. First four minutes of the third period, they were all over us and then we started to really play after that."

Miller worked for about 15 minutes in the practice and only a few others who played in Game 1 skated.

Who's hot: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook finished with a goal and assist, and Crawford made 48 saves. … Blues forwards Steen and Schwartz continued their hot hands against Chicago, scoring goals after each scoring twice in the season series.

Injury report: Chicago is fully stocked heading into the postseason. … Oshie (upper body) and Berglund (upper body) were the only St. Louis regulars who didn't play in Game 1. Each is expected to return at some point in the series.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:20 am 
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Chicago can lick my taint. That being said (and after paying my $25,000 fine) I sure hope this doesn't mean third jerseys...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:27 am 
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Go to Chicago up 2 games to 0. That is all.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:43 am 
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I'd really like to see a shutout from Miller today. I don't think he has played better for us than he did in OT in game 1. I'm ready for him to take this series over.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:06 am 
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Flashchat status update: Game time decision. Going to be at my in laws watching the game and not sure I'll have a 'puter.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:26 am 
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every playoff game is critical, especially the home games. 82 games to win home ice advantage, lose 1 game at home and its gone.

need to build on game 1's positives: Miller bounced back after a bad first period, the team didn't fold up when the goalie looked like he was playing dodge ball, and the biggest thing was putting pucks in the net -- a critical reminder that they actually have the talent to do it.

confidence is key. another solid win today and they go to Chicago up 2-0 and we can start to forget about the last 2 weeks of the season. Lose today and the task ahead becomes that much harder.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:05 am 
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Anybody know why this is 2-2-1-1-1 this year? I'm assuming it's because of the new playoff format. But, it used to be 2-3-2. Will rounds between teams of different divisions (and time zones) go back to 2-3-2?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:07 am 
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LOL

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:21 am 
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Over/Under on when Q will do his repeat performance of Saturday Night Fever: 4:20 PM, EST.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:27 am 
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Don't you guys make predictions in the GDT thread like they do over at the stltoday.com forums?

I'm not really into making predictions anyway but the Hawks were so pissed at losing Game 1 they could have a higher chance of winning Game 2.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:34 am 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
Anybody know why this is 2-2-1-1-1 this year? I'm assuming it's because of the new playoff format. But, it used to be 2-3-2. Will rounds between teams of different divisions (and time zones) go back to 2-3-2?


I thought it has been 2-2-1-1-1 in the nhl for awhile


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:24 pm 
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one last thought on game 1 lessons. Schwartz and Cracknell's goals were from about 2 feet out and Steen's not much further than that. Go to the net!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:39 pm 
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flyingnote38 wrote:
cardsfan04 wrote:
Anybody know why this is 2-2-1-1-1 this year? I'm assuming it's because of the new playoff format. But, it used to be 2-3-2. Will rounds between teams of different divisions (and time zones) go back to 2-3-2?


I thought it has been 2-2-1-1-1 in the nhl for awhile


It's been 2-2-1-1-1 in the NHL for quite some time.. as it should be in EVERY sport.. 2-3-2 is not a home advantage at all.

here...

1993-94 - The NHL's playoff draw was conference-based rather than division-based. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top eight teams in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences qualified for the playoffs. The teams that finish in first place in each of the League's divisions were seeded first and second in each conference's playoff draw and were assured of home ice advantage in the first two playoff rounds.

The remaining teams were seeded based on their regular-season point totals. In each conference, the team seeded #1 played #8; #2 vs. #7; #3 vs. #6; and #4 vs. #5. All series were best-of-seven with home ice rotating on a 2-2-1-1-1 basis, with the exception of matchups between Central and Pacific Division teams. These matchups were played on a 2-3-2 basis to reduce travel. In a 2-3-2 series, the team with the most points could choose to start the series at home or on the road. The Eastern Conference champion faced the Western Conference champion in the Cup Final.

1994-95 - Same as 1993-94, except that in first, second or third-round playoff series involving Central and Pacific Division teams, the team with the better record had the choice of using either a 2-3-2 or a 2-2-1-1-1 format. When a 2-3-2 format was selected, the higher-ranked team also had the choice of playing games 1, 2, 6 and 7 at home or playing games 3, 4 and 5 at home. The format for the Stanley Cup Final remained 2-2-1-1-1.
http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=25433

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Oshie + NON-THIRD-JERSEYS!

:hawkssuck: :hawkssuck: :hawkssuck: :letsgoblues: :blues:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:32 pm 
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

PORTER!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Miller is on today...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:57 pm 
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0.08 (Frank) YES!!!

DEEEEUUUUUCES!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:58 pm 
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END 1
St. Louis 2 : 0 Shitcocko

Is everyone away from the edges of the bridge now?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Gut check time.

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