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Blues Capture Fourth Seed, Home Ice Advantage in First-Round



The St. Louis Blues have soared into the playoff picture and captured the fourth seed in the playoffs and a first-round home advantage after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday night.

“I think home ice, that we got tonight, is going to be something that down the line is really necessary,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game. “It might be the little advantage we’re looking for that helps us along the line.”

The Blues have gotten a big lift from goalie Brian Elliot, who’s helped the team nab 12 wins in the last 15 games. Elliot has settled into the net quite nicely, allowing just 16 goals in April on a staggering 305 shots (.948 save percentage), which leads the league for the month.

“It’s a great way for our team to finish,” Elliot said. “As the goalie, you’re the last line of defense. But it’s really the way the guys in front of you play and they played really well this last month.”

The Blues had the fortune of playing an undermanned Chicago lineup without the regulars of Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane among others, since they clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this past week.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks will cruise into the playoffs, finishing 36-7-5 this season and tallying a 10-2-2 mark in the month of April. They are one of the most dynamic and fundamentally sound teams on the ice and will face off against the pedestrian Minnesota Wild in the first round.

Chicago will likely outpace Minnesota in the first round as they rank better in almost every major statistical category on both sides of the ice.

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