The St. Louis Blues took a 1-0 series lead on the Chicago Blackhawks in a grueling game that went into the third overtime. Alex Steen, who has had a terrific season, was the hero, but Ryan Miller saved the day.
St. Louis’ Alex Steen has had a rewarding season. He set a career high with 33 goals and 62 points in 68 games, gained some traction as a Selke candidate and signed a three-year extension worth north of $17 million. In Game 1 against Chicago, he put another egg in his basket.
The Blues-Blackhawks series is going to be a brutal one…in a good way. With so many banged up stars and gruff bruisers battling for pride and glory, the immense skill and ruthless carnage mix for a perfect playoff painting. The opening game of this series was physical, full of offensive chances, great saves and was a test of endurance.
The Blues and Blackhawks were on their way to playing two games Thursday night, but Steen put the game, and everyone watching it, to bed, only 26 seconds into 3OT.
What a nifty play by Steve Ott. Both Sabres acquisitions had a hand in the victory.
Just like the opening night of the Stanley Cup playoffs, offense ruled early in this game. The Hawks led 3-2 after the first period and it looked like Ryan Miller, who allowed three goals on his first seven shots, was carrying his struggles from the regular season stretch drive into the playoffs. At one point, Blues fans gave him a Bronx Cheer in his very first home playoff game for them. And he looked awful – and frozen – on this Patrick Kane goal.
But for the last four periods of the game, the offensive onslaught turned into a goalie battle that Miller won by stopping the last 35 shots he faced. The Bronx Cheer was upended by a standing ovation late in overtime.
This game also set a record for longest in Blues history.