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NHL playoff scores 2016: Blues, Blackhawks were Stanley Cup playoff hockey at its finest

We are all winners after St. Louis and Chicago put on a playoff series to remember.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

It's a shame the Stanley Cup isn't awarded until June, because the Blackhawks and Blues put on one hell of a first-round series.

Seriously, just look at all that went down over the past seven games:

  1. The offside coaches challenge of Game 2 that swung the game 3-2 in favor of Chicago.
  2. Andrew Shaw's use of a homophobic slur that earned him a one-game suspension.
  3. The Blues taking both Games 3 and 4 in Chicago, forcing the Blackhawks to rally from a 3-1 deficit. Also featuring a GOALIE FIGHT.
  4. And of course Chicago rallied, taking the next two, including a double-overtime victory in Game 5 then rallying themselves in Game 6 to force the final game in St. Louis.
  5. The Blues missing so many opportunities in Game 7 before finally netting the game-winner in the third period.
  6. Chicago's double post in the dying moments that gave everyone a heart attack.
And that's not even all of it really. It's hard to put into words just how spectacular this opening-round series was. How every game felt like the Stanley Cup Final, from the crowd to the pace and the unbelievable moments.

Maybe nothing will top this first-round series for the rest of the playoffs. Of course it's possible, as we do have the Capitals and Penguins in Round 2. That will most definitely be a series to watch, with the offensive skills of the respective teams and the divisional rivalry aspect working heavily in its favor.

Even so, the Blues and Blackhawks put on a fine show for the ages. This was postseason hockey at its best, made by the storylines, the skill and the unpredictability that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

There's still a lot of hockey left to be played. If it can match just a fraction of the level the Blues and Blackhawks were able to reach, I'll be more than happy.

Scores

Predators 3, Ducks 1
Blues 3, Blackhawks 2

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3 things we learned

1. The Blues hit a wall of bad breaks, and it almost cost them

It certainly got dicey for St. Louis in Game 7 as they missed not one, but two open nets -- and almost another on Troy Brouwer's game-winning goal.

Seriously, it was bad.

Brouwer himself missed the puck twice after it dinged off the post. Thankfully he potted it or he would have been seeing that in his dreams for years.

2. There was another hockey game on too!

Yes, it wasn't just the Blackhawks and Blues playing on Monday! The Ducks and Predators squared off in Nashville, where the home team shut down Anaheim's offense and came away with the 3-1 win to force a Game 7. The final game of that series will be played Wednesday, which also features the first game of the second round between the Islanders and Lightning, strangely enough.

Never seen that before.

3. The Crying Jordans were out in full force

It was, as they say, lit on Twitter after the Blackhawks' loss.

Impact Moment

And what an impact moment it was.

Stat of the Night

And no chance for a repeat for the Blackhawks or Kings either!