Backes, Blues Beat Blackhawks In OT

A terrific defensive battle ended with a tough goal in overtime and the St. Louis Blues escaped with a Game One victory.

David Backes banked a shot in off Trevor van Riemsdyk to win the game, but shots on goal were hard to come by the the home team. The Blues managed only 16 shots in regulation – two in the third period – but they got the one that mattered.

The Blues penalty kill was the story, handling four Blackhawks power plays in regulation and another only seven seconds into overtime. St. Louis had four power plays of their own, one that carried over to start the second period and another that carried into the third. But the Blackhawks improved power play was up to the task.

Three Blackhawks – Brent Seabrook (30:35), van Riemsdyk (28:12) and Niklas Hjalmarsson (28:11) – played heavy minutes on the blue line without Duncan Keith in the lineup. But they had to with the limited roster Chicago had to work with on the back end.

Viktor Svedberg, one of three rookie defensemen to dress for the Hawks, saw action with Keith finishing his suspension and had a rough night. He coughed up the puck on a number of occasions and getting leveled by Troy Brouwer. Eric Gustafsson skated 14:18 and saw a good amount of power play time (3:37).

Michal Rozsival and Hjalmarsson each had a tough time getting to the bench during the game. Hjalmarsson blocked a shot in the first period and struggled to stay on the ice during a first period penalty kill, and Rozsival got run over by Robby Fabbri and spent a few minutes in the room before returning. Hjalmarsson led Chicago with five blocked shots.

Andrew Ladd was credited with three shots on net a team-leading eight hits in his return to postseason hockey. Jonathan Toews led the Hawks with seven shots on net and Marian Hossa added five shots to four blocked shots as Chicago’s top line had a good, active night. There weren’t able to beat Brian Elliott, however.

Elliott had a terrific game, especially in the third period and overtime. He made 35 saves to secure the shutout, and was easily the best player in the game for St. Louis.

The Hawks’ high-flying second line was subdued as well. Patrick Kane (four shots on net) and Artemi Panarin (five) weren’t able to capitalize on a number of good chances, and Artem Anisimov was the Blackhawks best player at the dot; he won 10 of 18 faceoffs in the game.

Andrew Shaw returned from injury but there are obvious questions about his health. He skated only 13:30 and saw only 93 seconds of power play time.

Brandon Mashinter skated only 7:27 and took a brutal penalty at the end of the second period. Coach Joel Quenneville continues to run him out there, but his performance on Wednesday night could be enough for Quenneville to consider Richard Panik or Dale Weise in Game Two.

Crawford made 17 saves in 69:04 and looked more comfortable than he did in the regular season finale.

Game Two is Friday night, and Keith will return to the Blackhawks lineup.

60 thoughts on “Backes, Blues Beat Blackhawks In OT

  1. That was a fluke goal for St Louis. Hawks get Keith back on Friday and hopefully Mashinter will be out of the lineup in favor of Weise or Panik. Personally I think Panik should play with the issue being either Weise or Fleishman. I lean toward Weise, but I could be wrong. I feel good about the Hawks winning the series even with tonight’s loss.

  2. (UN)lucky bounce. The Hawks played a very good game. We should see more from Kane/Anisimov/Panarin.

    Brandon Mashinter — his performance on Wednesday night could be enough for Quenneville to consider Richard Panik or Dale Weise in Game Two. <<< I hope so.

  3. I don’t see how St. Louis can be happy with their play tonight. Save the physical play they were badly outplayed, out chanced and out shot.

    Our defence did a fantastic job of limiting shots and keeping them to the perimeter, this all without our best defensemen. Honestly, the Blues are in trouble. If they keep playing like this? This series won’t go longer than 6.

    Props given where due, Elliot stood on his head. Panarin looks to have shaken the first playoff game jitters and looked more and more effective as the game went on.

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP DRESSING MASHINTER! He’s a wasted roster spot. He fell awkwardly, took a penalty in the offensive zone and had piddly shot on goal. I KNOW Q is an all time coach, but what in good God does he see in this no talent, clueless bum?

    Hawks have GOT this.

  4. Geez you guys all sound like a chorus of trained seals…Mashinter this Mashinter that all nodding your heads like a dunking bird toy. He actually played a pretty good game and wasn’t the only Blackhawk to get a penalty…in fact he made a great play to and at the net at around the 5 minute mark of the 3rd and got it over to TT who got all turned around by the Blues D man or that was in. I think Mash should have take the shot himself and he could easily have been the hero. So ok, we get it, you guys don’t like him and blame him for everything and you know so much more than Q does. If the windshield washer fluid is out in your car it is no doubt Mashinters fault.

    We lose this one and win the next four. I liked our play a lot. I bet 4 is black and blue all over, he sure took a lot of shots to the body tonight. Warriors all. Crawford big thumbs up.

  5. The Hawks really carried the play. What a chance for Desi in overtime. This is why I love starting on the road. Still no pressure on the Hawks. Come out firing on Friday. Get the split then start taking over the series.

  6. @MiningMan, can you say in good conscience that Mashinter deserves a spot over Panik? If you can than I’ll take whatever your smoking…

  7. I smoke Export A Medium’s ..good Canadian tobacco…I actually prefer American Nat Sherman’s but we can’t get them anymore up here in Northern Saskatchewan. If you do want to join me for a smoke that would be nice. If up here I can take you fishing for Walleye the size of your car, but I will come down to Chicago for the Stanley Cup parade and bring a couple of Chohiba’s.

    I 100% trust whatever Q’s decision at game time is. Panik never even made it with the Leafs but again I defer to the Q maestro. Looking forward to that cigar with the Dark Bird.

  8. Hey brother I’m driving from Toronto to Vancouver in May so I’d love to take you up on that offer. Although I’ll have to inspect your cigars for obvious hallucinogens.

  9. Mining Man, “…chorus of trained seals…the windshield washer fluid is out in your car it is no doubt Mashinters fault.” — REALLY? I don’t agree with, “actually played a pretty good game”, nor do I blame him or the offensive zone penalty he took for the loss. Compare Panik’s play the last three games he’s dressed to what Mashinter contributes — the energy level and physical play is the same in my opinion, but Panik has the edge in skill. (Concede he will probably not fight Reaves.)

    I do agree with, ” I liked our play a lot” — I don’t know if the Hawks win the next four, but if they continue to play “their game” they should advance to the next round. GO HAWKS!!

  10. The most fun-to-watch loss in a while. I claim full responsibility for jinxing TVR, will no longer comment during games unless I’m at one, if they make it here to Anaheim or LA I’ll be at at least one (as if anyone looks at the old posts anyway). The Hawks played Equal to dominant all night, Elliott was good enough when needed and the Hawks shot into his pads all night. tip your hat to St Louis D, when they play 5 guys low you’re gonna have very little time to measure shots. Couldn’t fault the pass to shot ratio, all they could have done better was miss a little further, but not as much. I was impressed with Hawks’ short handed D, they look up to the task, and these guys are due for some wins. Loved q’s faces after the penalties, man I hope he’s diligent with his blood pressure meds.

    On completely different but related notes, I’m disappointed in Costco’s current whiskey selection, I’ll make do with Gentleman Jack if I must, I think I might just go with a handle of Beam next time unless they get some new stuff in. Last year they had Blanton’s and Woodford, it was heavenly. MM, Cubans are legal in Canada, yes? the only real Cuban I’ve smoked (I think it wasn’t fake at least) was in Montreal, in Mexico, where I can go in less than 40 mins, it’s impossible to find real Cubans unless you have a degree in cigar band counterfeiting.

  11. Great game. Observations.
    1. Mashinter had a fine game with exception of ill timed penalty in second.
    2. Shaw isn’t healthy. And what he brings to the table in a game like this was missed.
    3. Elliott was outstanding and won the game. Crawford was excellent but not tested nearly to the level of Elliott.
    4. Hossa played a sound defensive game but just can’t do much of anything offensively anymore.
    5. Hawks need more in the offensive zone by Ladd and Anisimov. A lot more.
    6. Teuvo was victimized and exposed on too many shifts.
    7. Kruger was invaluable.
    8. Hawks actually got away with Svedberg playing minutes. Go figure.

  12. The problem with Mashinter(even if he plays ok like some say he did) is that he waters down the Hawks talent advantage and impedes the ability to effectively roll 4 lines. Even Sr. Brad’s Parrot knows that.

  13. Mash didn’t have his best game, although he isn’t an impact player and can’t be expected to be-and we have a potential one sitting in the stands. this isn’t bashing Q-he’s a great coach who loves certain players. Hopefully it will motivate someone, not names Mashinter
    Good game by the Hawks

  14. Slept badly after that one. Once again the margin of victory is a razor thin line in playoffs. Hawks had their chances and Elliot had the answers. Crow was also very good and was sadly victimized by a Backes pass that hits a TVR skate. No chance for Corey there. . Backes otherwise had zero shots on goal the entire game. Backes looked ill, a ghost. Tarasenko had 1 shot on goal and gave the puck nervously to team mates. Hitch said it during the post game presser that his guys were nervous and feeling the pressure. Ya think?

    Can’t fault Hawks defensively although clearing attempts often went right to Blues point guys. Both teams appeared to block many shots.

    Refs called 9 penalties but pretty much let em play. This was to the advantage of the Blues who seemed hell bent to interfere and run guys through the boards the entire game. Ladd stood up though and Rozy played tough. If the Blues want to try and ratchet up the physical game they ultimately lose imo as penalties called will at some point produce some Hawks PP goals that will decide games.

    Ice looked particularly bad last night. Get used to it right? Of some note, with the Bulls out of the playoffs UC ice should be better than normal going forward which I feel is a positive for the Hawks.

    Of the injured Hawks coming back only Shaw seemed to be at less than full power. Hossa I thought had an excellent game. That top line looked pretty good. I wish Q would have skated either Panik or Weise last night. I still see those two as better choices than 53 for what they can bring. Yes, I know that issue has become contentious around here, but that’s how I see it.

    Hawks can beat these guys.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  15. Did not watch the game…. Hawks “MoJo” is missing-imo… can’t score with only ONE line in PO’s… Forced to playing “Muck it up” hockey…

    Guessing… Blues playing the same “Rope-a-dope” Hockey the Hawks won with last year… keep all shots to perimeter

    Schmaltz- better be really good- soon (I wanted Fabbri that year)…
    Motte scored 2nd g in his 3rd AHL game!!!

  16. If Shaw is still hurt, Game 2 might be the perfect opportunity for Q to give Wiese some time. Let him replace Shaw fir a game on fourth line so he gets some ice time and Shaw heals for the later games.

  17. I’m thinking to myself that Backes was pretty much a non factor in the game, and just then he gets the bank shot off of TVR’s skate. That’s hockey I guess. Good solid game that ended in a “greasy” goal.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  18. You gotta feel for TvR. Young kid in the right place, but it happens. You know he feels worse than anyone the the Hawks locker room.

    I thought the Hawks looked gassed in OT, regardless of the SOG stat. Need to play with the lead to slow down the physical play of the Blues.

    Friday is not a MUST win, but would sure be nice to go to the UC 1-1.

  19. A positive game. Hawks played tough neutralizing Tarasenko and the Blues skill players. A fluke win on TVR’s first playoff goal. I did not see any comments to this affect, but the Hawks were attacking the net contrary to their perimeter regular season game. That’s a good sign.

    Mashinter did not do anything to lose the game, but he certainly does not have the skill and energy level of the alternatives. He’d still be sitting in the AHL for some team if Stan did not acquire him and Q playing him. He should not be playing in the NHL playoffs.

    Don’t see why the Hawks should not advance unless the Blues totally change their game. Then again, it was the Hawks play that neutralized their offense.

    Go Hawks!!! All we want is one in St. Louis. We can win a game in St Louis.

  20. The problem with playing Mashinter is that he makes the third line offensively useless. His style of play is a bad fit with 86/12. Last year in the playoffs our third line of 10/80/86 was dangerous. I love our fourth line but let’s face it, they are not finishers and will not score much. That leaves too much pressure on the top two lines to do all the scoring. Panik brings more speed and offensive skill to the table and needs to replace 53 now before this series gets out of hand. The Hawks played a very solid game last night but the Blues goalie was the difference. Kudos to our young defensemen for stepping up.

  21. This is insanity. Supreme focus on Mashinter versus Panik on the ice for crying out loud ! In a playoff game. Guess what, the Hawks didn’t lose this game because of Mashinter. In fact, he had a quality game for what he is on the ice to do. And guess what also, the Great and Powerful Panik is no great shakes. BFD that he was able to pot some goals in games against the dregs of the NHL. He’s an answer to nothing…at best a #13 or #14 type forward option. And his wondrous skating ability has gotten him what? He couldn’t crack the lineup of the vaunted dynasty Toronto Maple Leafs? He couldn’t get regular dress time with the Blackhawks against the options of Mashinter, Rasmussen and Des Jardins? Please….give me a friggin break with crowning Panik as the answer to ANYTHING.

    Hawks lost this game because Elliott stood on his head and was outstanding. The Hawks did not get the needed contributions from Shaw (who is CLEARLY far less than 100%) and the top two lines collectively. Though all lines did yeoman’s work defensively.

  22. Once again, we are not getting traffic in front of the net. Elliott had clear view of nearly every single shot on net. Traffic=goals against a good goalie.

    That, and our stagnating point-to-point offensive zone plan that routinely goes nowhere. There needs to be more net rushing to draw in the defense.

  23. Net presence and pucks to the net.Q has has said this many times.It seems to me that this this does not apply on the power play.It looks like it’s “Puck around the net ,waiting for one good shot” which often misses the net or its deflected of one of their players. No lucky bounces.They pepper Crawford with shots that either put the hurt on one of our guys (#4 ) or bounce into the our net .The keep away style the Hawks play should not apply to keep away from their net.Just shoot the F ••k••g puck.Maybe we get a lucky bounce or destesticullate one of their guys.

  24. Coach Q must check his ego at the door, this is the Playoffs. Putting Mashinter out there with Teuvo and Fleishman totally took them out of their game. With this team already short handed why would he not play a proven player in that spot? Neither one is the second coming of Steve Larmer but they sure as hell are a better choice than Mash.

  25. Snidely please calm your tits, no one is saying Panik is the answer or that Mashinter is the reason we lost. We are simply pointing out the obvious fact that Mashinter doesn’t contribute anything while Panik brings speed and a little bit of skill to the lineup. He’s scored 6 goals since we’ve acquired him.

  26. The problem is with Q on this one. Feels 53 is a better choice than 14 or 25…..but then gives him under 7.5 minutes in a 69 minute game. Not only does that mean fewer minutes for 86 and 12, but guys had to double shift with them with 53 on the bench.

    Nobody happier to see Kieth back than me……no, than 57….and 4 and 7.

  27. For all the good and not so good, the Hawks played inspired hockey for 69 minutes last night. If they continue to play this way, I can accept the outcome. Even if the outcome is not to my liking. One thing I have learned about these Hawks and the JT/PK era is, never count them out.

  28. Ryan Reaves is why Mashinter is there. Him and Svedberg were absolutely brutal last night.

    Rozsival had a couple real solid hits. Not including the one that landed him in the box

  29. We played a very solid road playoff game but didn’t get the puck luck. I’ll take that effort every night. The only negative I had was Anisimov seemed to lose every draw badly and it seemed like Krugs took his shifts a few times. Not what you are looking for in the #2 center. Kruger was terrific all night, his line was really strong late in the game. Hope the Blues keep trying to run us out of the building although they should ask the Ducks how well that strategy works.

  30. ^^^^^^^^

    i believe i read AA lead all centers at the dot actually..

    hurts not to take game 1, but played well enough to win

    need more net front presence!!!

  31. @MS
    Anisimov lost every draw badly?

    You work for Fox News or something? Sometimes, facts can support opinions.

  32. Guess I need new glasses (or less wine) – sure seemed like AA struggled at the dot, particularly on the PP.

  33. So, that was a solid effort and pretty exceptional game considering Keith was out.

    Toews biff’d two break aways. Kane and especially Panarin had maybe one or two they could have done better with. Not hammering one in on the 5v3 was no bueno.

    Even outside of the power play, the Hawks were driving a crap ton of play and were for the most part dominant. Very encouraging game. Looks like the guys are dialed up and dialed in.

    Unless Elliot plays well above his skill level for the rest of the series, it is there for the Hawks to take. They should definitely be able to stroll out of this in 5 or 6 as long as they can find twine. The chances are there and the defending was much better. Losing to the blues sucks but otherwise this is was a good effort and there isn’t a lot to be irritated about.

  34. Nick in San Diego- Yes anyone can get Cuban’s at any smoke shop…even Casinos give them away as comps. Thinking things should be easing up along those lines with the US as time goes on.

    When Keith returns for Game 2 the entire team will be elevated in spirit and strength. Heck of a long way to go yet but it’s going to happen.

  35. Every faceoff counts, certain are more important.

    (Coaching) combat tactics, Mr Ryan./The Hunt For Red October.

    Did same thing ’15/and other yrs, 80 and 86 did not play first two road games (extra boost and at home extra boost) then played every game. Having depth guys get couple games and contribute energy helps team game throughout a series. Then better players come in and they are more fresh then everybody else on each team. We have more depth and using it can pay dividends later.

    Every game the team gets better and adjustments made (with a couple fresher players). We take it to another level and turn the corner and not look back.

  36. Don’t care what the reasoning is behind the decision to dress Mashinter. He’s a weak link and he hurts the productivity of his line mates. And he hurts the team. I’m tired of Q’s stubborn streak and his dog-house. Yeah, I know, 2nd winningest coach, blah blah blah. The championships are won by the guys on the ice, and they’ve done it in spite of his bullshit.
    They played a great defensive game last night with everyone pitching in. It was nice to see and it needs to continue. And, yes, sit Svedberg, too.

  37. Stan needs to consult with Q when he goes grocery shopping. Two items that Stan bought Q did not want them .Weise and Ehrhoff.Last year Stan bought an item that was spoiled .Timonan costed Stan 2 second rounders.Stan and Q should get together in the off season and get the groceries right away. This way , they can learn Q’s system and not have to be in the class room or on OJT during the play offs.All the Blues need to do is wear pound our 3 top d man and wear them out.

  38. The Hawks don’t have anyone to control Reeves and his goon tactics, but what we do have is skill players that can exploit his many flaws. You do that by scoring goals. I look at this like a boxing match and round one went to the Blues. lets see how round two plays out

  39. Well said BCHawk and welcome. I am a huge fan of coach Q, but he has made some stubborn mistakes with playoff lineups over the years imo. The sitting last year of Vermette and TT for a game against the Ducks was just goofy. There was the Bollig controversy. The Mashinter issue is this year. I would gladly see some guys with more experience, talent to win a Cup get slotted in over 53.

    The only opinions that matter are Q and the Bowman’s regarding lineup possibilities. Let’s see how this develops.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  40. Why is everyone so concerned with Mashinter? Although I agree there should be other options that Q considers over him, why all the wasted words on a low-tier player. I think the fingers need to be pointed at the high-end skill guys that did not light a lamp last night.

  41. Hey Greg, I don’t think you can ever get after players for not scoring…it’s a hard thing to do and always relates to effort. So as long as the guys are trying, scoring will eventually take care of itself.

    Last night Toews was a monster. Kane and Panarin were good as well, but a little too peremiterish for my liking though. Ladd, Kruger, and Desi were very good as well. I think it’s pretty clear that both Hossa and Shaw are not close to 100% and that really hurts their offensive games. The only substandard line last night was the 3rd line, and I believe that TT needs speed and talent next to him to accentuate his natural skills. Weise and Fleischman, or Weise and Panik would make very nice wingers for TT. Mashinter is the absolute wrong choice for TT because he doesn’t possess adequate NHL speed, IMO.

    Thanks for your comments.

  42. Tab – my apologies for having an opinion contrary to the facts. My bad, I now realize that AA was great last night and Mashinter was the likely reason we lost.

  43. A well played AND very enjoyable hockey game by the Hawks. A bad deflection ends up in our net but, like many said, I will take the effort all day long. Usually as the series goes on the Hawks get stronger, so we should see better things over the next few games.

    As far as the Blues bashing the Hawks into the third row on a lot of checks, most teams that can skate and have skill, like the Hawks, seem to enjoy when a team likes to take “runs” at them. The reason is this……..sooner or later the heavy team will start to pull out of position to take a run at someone and that’s when the skilled team takes advantage. It happened twice last night. Once on a Tazer breakaway and once when Panarin busted up the middle and shot high.

    Last season when the Ducks were supposed to stampede the Hawks, the Hawks played the “wait in the weeds” game. They waited for either Kessler or Perry to try and run someone into the third row and then made them pay for it. St. Louis will do the same thing because Reaves and Backes are knuckleheads.

    Let’s see if Duncan Keith will be the difference maker that we all think he is. Either way, this series doesn’t start until game #3 in Chicago. GO HAWKS!!

  44. MS, Anisimov won a lot of his early faceoffs last night, but he got worse as the game went on, especially on those offensive zone draws which are so crucial for the Hawks to win because of how they struggle to maintain possession while entering into the opponent’s zone while on the Power Play.

    What I have noticed with Anisimov’s F/O style is that he tries to win draws the conventional way, by adopting a very wide stance with his legs and then bending forward to the ice to generate torque. However, I don’t think this is a particularly good idea for AA. Because he’s so tall, and his arms (in particular) are so long, he can’t generate enough speed at the dot, and if you notice most of his F/O losses see the puck gone from the dot before he can even contact it.

    I would prefer to see Anisimov take a much more “taller” stance, where he can use his natural size and strength to his advantage. It would make him “quicker at the draw”.

  45. BC…understood and agree. Just saying there’s much talk about Mash one way or the other.

    Let’s just hope the boys find the back of the net tomorrow night.

  46. Face-offs were a problem for a stretch late in the game. Regardless of the overall stats there were several in a row we lost badly, and the ones on the PP were tough. It messed with our possessions. Gotta clean that up in crunch time.

  47. TT needs talent on his line to be at his best. We’ve seen him raise his game when he has fast linemates. Totally agree with BC. Panik is my choice but Weise would be a welcome addition as well.

  48. Great game by the Hawks. Defense played Blues to a standstill for three periods. Hawks had their chances to score. Couldn’t get Blues defense to over commit on 5 on 3 power play. Elliot IN THE ZONE. Game reminds me of Hawk loss to the Kings in seventh game of Western Conference playoff which was lost on a skate deflection. Interested to see Q’s adjustments for next game. Looking for more aggressive forecheck.

  49. …..unfortunately….no majic wand transformation yet for the Blackhawks… same team showed up as in the last quarter….power play sucks despite individual efforts by Kane ,Toews et al …..prepare for early exit guys…..

  50. Mo, I trust you have spoken with the Savannah lion about getting after it this evening.
    It’s time. Beat the Blues!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  51. Dunks is back but when we get back to Chicago.

    But word has spread. The Highlanders are coming down on their own. In droves of hundreds… and thousands.

  52. Finally, traffic in front of the net causes a goal!! Who would have thought?

    Random questionaire.
    Top 5 Russian NHL players this year?
    1. Ovechkin
    2. Panarin
    3. Tarasenko
    4. Malkin
    5. Kucherov or Datsuk

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