Photo by: (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Ding dong the witch is dead.
The Blues did something no team did the entire 2015 postseason and that they themselves have not done since 2002. That is beat the Chicago Blackhawks in a playoff series.
In game seven, the Blues came out on top and squeaked out a 3-2 victory to advance to take on the Dallas Stars in the second round.
In the win, Brian Elliott starred with 31 stops on 33 attempts while Troy Brouwer’s third-period goal was the difference maker.
In the first period, the Blues came out hungry.
Jaden Schwartz passed the puck to the point where Jay Bouwmeester corralled the pass. Bouwmeester wristed a shot on net as Jori Lehtera redirected it past Corey Crawford for his first goal of the series making it 1-0 just one minute into the game.
The Blues got another terrific opportunity with 11 minutes left in the first period as Colton Parayko wired a slap shot off the iron past Crawford. The puck stayed out of the net and Crawford made a great stop on the flurry of opportunities after the shot to keep the game 1-0.
Parayko’s bad luck off the post would turn later in the period.
With just over six minutes left in the first period, Parayko took a shot that was blocked down, but Patrik Berglund gave Parayko back the puck at the point. Parayko made sure not to miss this time as he wired one of the post to the blocker side of Crawford making it 2-0 with 6:13 left in the period.
Despite the Blues jump early in the game, the Blackhawks rebounded after Schwartz slipped in the attacking end. This led to an opportunity on the other end as Richard Panik sent a cross-ice pass to Marian Hossa into the offensive zone. Hossa fired a shot past Elliott cutting the deficit to one with 1:30 left in the first period.
The Blackhawks kept up the pressure in the second after a hooking call on Kevin Shattenkirk.
On the power play, Jonathan Toews moved the puck to Duncan Keith at the point. Keith gave it back to Toews who sent it low to Andrew Shaw pivoting from his position in front of the net. Shaw sent a pass across the crease that deflected off Bouwmeester as he was down to one knew into the net making it 2-2 with 16:40 left in the period.
After a scoreless first half of the third period, Paul Stastny entered the zone after Erik Gustaffson turned the puck over to Robby Fabbri. Stastny got the puck across to Fabbri who quickly sent it to Troy Brouwer at the top of the crease. Brouwer’s first attempt went of the post as Crawford sprawled on the ice, but Brouwer’s second attempt found the back of the net giving the Blues the all important 3-2 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Blackhawks surged back late in the third period with a flurry of opportunities. Brent Seabrook took a slap shot from the point that was deflected on its way before hitting both posts. Richard Panik and Elliott both reached for the puck, but the Blues were able to sweep it away keeping the 3-2 game with under four minutes in regulation.
The Blackhawks pulled Crawford for the extra attacker, but Elliott and Blues stood tall to advance to the second round against the Dallas Stars.