Finally, after all the “Wakey, wakey Backes” nonsense NBC kept bringing up, it was time for this series to get underway. Who better to score the overtime winner than the First Star of the Game, Captain David Backes?
The first period was absolutely filled with penalties (five, to be exact) – three by the Blues and two by Chicago, including 36 seconds of 5-on-3 play for the Blackhawks – but Second Star Brian Elliott rose to the occasion to keep the first period scoreless.
Michal Rozsival was sent to the box in the fourth minute of the second period for an interference call that more looked like something from WWE, but the Notes were not able to take advantage of the power play. The Hawks upped the pressure after the kill leading up to the midway point of the game, but Elliott continued to hold strong and kept the game at nil. St. Louis had a power play at the end of the period, but Third Star Corey Crawford continued to keep the puck out of his net.
After two periods, both goaltenders had clean sheets, with Crawford making all 20 saves and Elliott matching him at a perfect 14 for 14.
The third period was much more aggressive, going back and forth at a quick rate, but the score remained at goose eggs.
Backes finally won the game, but not in the third period. It was at the 9:04 mark, a shot that trickled through Crawford’s legs.
Elliott ended the game making all 35 shots, while Crawford gave up only one of the 18 he faced (94.4%).
Chicago will remain in St. Louis to play them at 8 p.m. eastern. That game can be viewed on NBCSN, SN and TVAS2.