Though the goaltending was the story in Pittsburgh, it was the star in St. Louis. In our first goaltenders duel of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, Corey Crawford and Brian Elliott went save for save for nearly 70 minutes until finally the Blackhawks gave and lost by a score of 1-0.
The Blackhawks, missing Duncan Keith due to a suspension, were bodied around all evening by the bruising Blues. Chicago got some shots in as well, but St. Louis set the tone early and often, throwing down 41 hits to the Blackhawks' 24.
Rozsival tosses Upshall pic.twitter.com/OLW02sM1Eh— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) April 14, 2016
Robby Fabbri rocks Michal Rozsival pic.twitter.com/UfYQhhCw8A— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) April 14, 2016
But of course, as all late-night games do, it went to overtime. Despite the Blues having just two shots in the third period, their physicality was enough to disrupt the Blackhawks to take them to an extra period of hockey.
The Blackhawks were eventually left hanging despite the huge shot advantage of 35-18. On what was originally a pass by David Backes to the front of the net deflected off of Trevor van Riemsdyk's skate and went between the wickets of Crawford for the only score nine minutes into the overtime.
3 things we learned
1. The Blues were outplayed... by a lot
Possession-wise, the Blackhawks had the Blues dead to rights, as St. Louis practically flatlined in the third period. Sometimes, however, that's just how the cookie crumbles. And it's also the reason why these series are decided by seven games.
2. But you have to give props to Elliott
Thirty five saves and no goals allowed against some of the best scorers in the NHL? That's a tone-setter right there by Elliott, who made all the right saves at the right time.
3. Did I say there was a lot of hits?
Because there was. Sign me up for six more games of this please.