Perhaps the most intriguing game of night one of the Stanley Cup playoffs will be played in St. Louis. Wednesday night will see the reigning Stanley Cup champions face off against a Blues squad looking to make a statement that they're not a one-and-done team. The Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks at 9:30 p.m. ET at home in the Scottrade Center.
Scouting the Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are coming into the playoffs with the Art Ross trophy winner in Patrick Kane and the soon-to-be Calder Trophy winner in Artemi Panarin. Chicago loaded up with talent like Andrew Ladd right before the trade deadline, but haven't caught fire just yet like the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks of years past. Ladd himself is a game-time decision due to the birth of his child. Chicago will get back Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw and Artem Anisimov in time for puck drop, but will miss defenseman Duncan Keith due to a suspension.
Corey Crawford has the start in net for the Blackhawks.
Scouting the Blues
St. Louis has the chance to prove the hockey world wrong in this series. The Blues have had noted problems getting through the early stages of the postseason, as last year they bowed out to the Minnesota Wild in six games. With a strong defense boosted by goaltender Brian Elliot, St. Louis finally looks to have the manpower to stop the Blackhawks in their tracks.
The Blues have no outstanding injuries to account for, after getting back Steve Ott (colitis), David Backes (lower body) and Troy Brouwer (undisclosed) on Tuesday. Elliot will take the first start for the Blues in net.
Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues
9:30 p.m. | Game 1, Western Conference Round 1
Scottrade Center | St. Louis, Mo.
Local: CSN Chicago, FS MW | Nat'l: NBCSN, TVAS, SN360
Live stream at NBC Live Extra and Rogers GameCentre
More coverage: Blackhawks blog | Blues blog
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