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Hockey Daily Dose

Dose:Chicago singing the Blues

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The King is dead. Long live the King.

 

There will be a new Stanley Cup champion this season as the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the 2016 playoffs Monday by the previously snake bitten St. Louis Blues.

 

The Blackhawks had fought back from a ­3-1 deficit to send the series to a seventh game but the Blues finally prevailed under Ken Hitchcock and won a first round series for the first time in five seasons.

 

The Nashville Predators forced a seventh game on Monday with a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Game 7 is Wednesday and will follow the Islanders-Lightning Game 1 of the second round.

 

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NASHVILLE 3 ANAHEIM 1 (Series tied at 3)

James Neal scored once and added an assist while Pekka Rinne kicked out 26 saves to lead the Predators to a 3-1 win and send the series back to Anaheim for the pivotal seventh game.

 

It was the first time the Predators won at home this series as they won the first two games in Anaheim before losing three in a row entering Game 6.

 

Mattias Ekholm opened the scoring with his second of the series and Neal made it 2-0 with 2:15 to go in the second before Ryan Kesler cut the lead in half with 14 seconds left in the middle period.

 

Shea Weber scored into the empty net with 10 seconds left in the game to seal the win.

 

Frederik Andersen lost his first game of the series but he couldn’t be blamed as the made 23 saves in the Anaheim cage.

 

The Ducks took only one minor and it was a too many men on the ice call, while the Predators had only two minors as the referees let the two teams play.

 

Roman Josi had five blocked shots while Weber had five hits.

 

Corey Perry was a minus-three on the night.

 

Cody Bass suffered a lower body injury in the first period and did not return.

 

ST. LOUIS 3 CHICAGO 2 (Blues win the series 4-3)

The Blues finally got the monkey off their backs and won a first round playoff series with a home win over Chicago.

 

St. Louis struck quickly and often in the first period as they took a 2-0 lead with Jori Lehtera scoring at the one minute mark while Colton Parayko found the back of the net at the 13:43 mark.

 

But the Blackhawks didn’t fold as Marian Hossa sliced the lead in half at the 18:30 mark of the first with a nice shot that beat Brian Elliott over his shoulder.

 

Andrew Shaw scored on the Blackhawks only power play opportunity in the game as his centering pass deflected into the net off the knee of Blues blueliner Jay Bouwmeester who was on his knees in the crease.

 

That sent the game tied heading into the third period where Troy Brouwer’s first of the series turned out to be the game winner as he scored backhanding it into the empty cage after missing the puck twice (well, hitting the post once and trying to swipe it a second time) before connecting for the goal.

 

Both goalies Corey Crawford and Elliott were strong in the nets as Elliott made 31 saves for the win while Crawford stopped only 23 of 26 but many were outstanding saves as he robbed the Blues time and time again.

 

Scottie Upshall had seven hits for the Blues while Brent Seabrook had five blocked shots.

 

As in the Nashville game, there were only three penalties called. 

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.