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Blackhawks Have To Go To OT to Beat Wild 2-1

blackhawkswild-wrNormally, one would expect a one seed vs eight seed match-up to be rather lopsided. But if Game One was any indication, the series between the one seed Chicago Blackhawks and eight seed Minnesota Wild may not be. The Blackhawks were the top team in the NHL’s Western Conference from the first drop of the puck on opening night. The Wild underachieved from day one and barely made it in.

But, when the playoffs start, everybody is 0-0-0. The Wild gave the Blackhawks all they could handle in Game One before Chicago won it in overtime 2-1 on a goal from Brian Bickell to go up 1-0 in the series.

Minnesota was reeling after Nicklas Backstrom was a pregame scratch due to an injury suffered in warm-ups. But they struck quickly with a goal from Cal Clutterbuck at 4:48 into the game.

Chicago tied the game 2:06 into the second period on a power play goal from Marian Hossa, but that was all they would get in regulation as the Wild had designs on stealing home ice advantage right off the bat.

In other Western Conference action, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings suffered a 2-1 loss in Game One to the St. Louis Blues also in overtime. Alex Steen stole the puck from goalie Jonathan Quick and scored a short-handed goal to win the game. That’s is no way to begin your playoff run if you are the Kings.

Quick is last season’s Stanley Cup Finals MVP and was having a great game getting the Kings into overtime in a 1-1 game. But a loss of focus in overtime can be very costly as he found out the hard way.

Steen scored the Blues first goal on a power play at 9:05 into the game. That lead held up until the Kings scored with 32 seconds left in regulation on a Justin Williams goal. All the momentum was on the side of the Kings as they were poised to steal the home-ice advantage until Steen struck for his second goal of the game to win it.

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