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Blackhawks Lose Triple OT Thriller

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 18, 2014 1:30PM

There are few things as exciting as playoff hockey but Blackhawks fans should be excused for their lethargy this morning, especially those who stayed up to see the conclusion of the Hawks' 4-3 triple overtime loss to St. Louis in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series. A fast start for both teams settled into a goaltending contest between Corey Crawford and Blues goalie Ryan Miller. The Hawks appeared to be in the driver's seat in the game before Jaden Schwartz's goal with 1:45 remaining in regulation tied the game and set the stage for and endurance contest.

The Blues struck first blood with a tip-in goal by Adam Cracknell 4:40 into the first period. Johnny Oduya tied the game at the 11:14 mark on a tip-in goal of his own, then Brent Seabrook gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead on a power play goal at the 14:39 mark.

Vladimir Tarasenko tied the game at 2 with a wrist shot at the 15:52 mark before Patrick Kane, playing his first game in weeks after nursing a knee injury, handed Chicago a 3-2 lead with a wrist shot with 1:36 remaining in the period. Brent seabrook and Jonathan Toews had a nifty assists to set up Kane.

As expected, the Blues attempted to control the pace of the game with physical play and had 42 hits on the game to the Blackhawks' 27. But Chicago's puck possession game wasn't at its best at the Scottrade Center. The Blues had 16 takeaways on the night while the Hawks turned over the puck 12 times; several of those giveaways quashed scoring opportunities.

Crawford and Miller performed admirably in the first two overtimes before Alexander Steen sent the St. Louis faithful happily into the night with a wrist shot set up by a rebound. Crawford was protecting his glove side of the goal and Steen had nothing but net on Crawford's stick side.

Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game some technical mistakes by players on the ice helped set up the goal but didn't single out any players. (In the video above you can see Niklas Hjalmarsson in the crease briefly before Steen's shot and a couple defensive miscues.) Kane said, "I think the big thing for us is we've gotta realize that it's only one game and we obviously have a quick turnaround playing an afternoon game coming up, but that's the best part about it. We'll get back at it, try to figure out what we can do better, and hopefully come back in Game 2."

Best of eight, anyone?