Well, the first period didn’t go close to script. The Blues were struggling to score goals heading into the playoffs but they picked up the first goal of the series 4:40 into the game when Adam Cracknell picked up the puck and the goal for the early Blues lead. The Blues were swarming in the first 10 minutes of the game and the Hawks seemed to struggle with the surge but were able to hold the lead to 1-0 until the Blues had a lapse and let Johnny Oduya get the puck in deep and Kris Versteeg knocked it for a tie game. Brent Seabrook fell rather easily when Barett Jackman interfered with him and the Hawks picked up the first powerplay of the series and Seabrook ended up picking up the powerplay goal and the first lead for the Blackhawks.
Possibly the most dangerous player in a Blues jersey is Vladmir Tarasenko and in his first action since returning from injury looked good in the first period, blocking shots and he picked up the second goal of the game for the Blues to tie up the contest. Late in the period the Blues somehow let Patrick Kane get behind everyone and Kane put it right in the five hole of Ryan Miller and the Hawks had the lead 3-2. When the horn sounded the scoreboard read 3-2 after 1 period and the Ryan Miller had given up 3 goals on 7 shots, but the Blues led the shot chart 12-7 after one period.
After a wild and crazy 2nd period the 2nd period was well just as fun but not as wild on the scoresheet. The Hawks dominated the first half of the 2nd period, but Ryan Miller finally settled down after a shaky start and kept the Blues in the contest with the Hawks having 3 great chances. The Hawks had a powerplay in the middle of the action and it seemed to settle the Blues down, and after the penalty kill the Blues had the better part of the action with Corey Crawford making two huge saves to preserve the 2nd period lead. Niklas Hjalmarrson had two big shot blocks on the Blues late power play and the Hawks headed to the 2nd intermission with a 3-2 lead. One thing that is noticeable is that Michal Rozsival is getting punished every time he’s in a corner. Hawks led shots in the 2nd 8-3.
Overtime was an exciting affair with 24 shots on goal with the Hawks leading 14-10. The Hawks had the majority of the play in Miller’s end but the Hawks couldn’t get one past him, well except for the shot that beat Miller but Brandon Saad had pushed Maxim Lapierre into the crease and he made the game saving save. Jonathan Toews had saved a goal earlier when he tied up Tarasenko’s stick when he had an open net. The action was end to end and exciting but when 20 minutes were up they had to head to a 2nd overtime.
Double Overtime turned all the players on the ice in Handzus speed. The Hawks had the best chance of the period when Patrick Sharp was in on a breakaway but Miller stoned him. Reaves tattooed Toews and everyone’s heart skipped a beat but the Captain was back out there on his next shift. It was great to see Kane and Toews out there but you could see rust in their game. The Blues out shot the Hawks in Double Overtime 12-7. 100 minutes wasn’t enough to settle Game #1 and now we are on to Triple Overtime.
The Blackhawks did not come out flying in the third period, but decided to shut down the offense and play defensively, and in the end it would cost them the lead. Corey Crawford was the star of third period making glove save after glove save. The Blackhawks were on their collective heels for the entire period and with 1:45 Jaden Schwartz tied it with a back hander on the door step of Corey Crawford. The Blues were the best team on the ice in the third period out shooting the Hawks 14-6 and now the question is whether the Hawks can regroup during the intermission.
The third overtime didn’t take very long 26 seconds to be exact when Ott made a nifty back pass to Alexander Steen and he buried it for the Triple OT Winner and the 1-0 series Lead.
-Game #2 is Saturday at 2pm Central
-Rozsival was very shaky most of the night.
-The Hawks should have won this game but they even though it feels worse it’s only 1-0 St. Louis
-For the 2nd straight year the Blues win Game #1 of the Playoffs in overtime