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St. Louis Blues Defeat Chicago Blackhawks, Finally Advance Out of First Round

The Stanley Cup will have a new owner. The St. Louis Blues defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7, 3-2.

They will face the Dallas Stars in the second round while the Blackhawks hit the golf course a lot earlier than they are used to.

The Blues gave up a 3-1 lead in Game 6, but the players came out hungry in Game 7 determined to finally make it out of the first round after three consecutive eliminations. Jori Lehtera started things off right away with a goal only a minute into the period.

In a nutshell, the Blackhawks played as if they were in a sludge factory: disorganized and unprepared in a hostile environment. They had to rely on goalie Corey Crawford, who could only do so much. Colton Parayko put the Blues up 2-0 at 13:43.

The Hawks were not ready to go from everything to nothing, though. They had a Stanley Cup to defend. They decided to apply more pressure towards the end, which led to a goal from Marian Hossa over goalie Brian Elliott’s glove.

The real Blackhawks skated onto the ice in the second period where they quickly “sent the cheap first period imitations home for the night.” They immediately took control, spinning the Blues out of control. Kevin Shattenkirk received a penalty for hooking, giving the Blackhawks a much needed power play.

Andrew Shaw took care of business.

But Elliott deserves props because he made some magnificent saves, especially on Art Ross trophy winner Patrick Kane. Too many times he danced around the goal for a wraparound goal, but Elliott quickly slid to deny Kane a goal.

“There’s always second-guessing and thinking what you could’ve done differently,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “It’s kind of tough to think of what you could’ve done differently in those situations to alter the result.”

Crawford, though, is the reason why the Blues did not run up the score. Save after save kept the defending champions in the game.

It only makes sense an odd goal would give the Blues the lead.

“I just tried to stay with it, knowing the magnitude of the game, knowing how everything’s been going,” said Troy Brouwer, who played for the Blackhawks in 2010 when they won the Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks would not give up, but the hockey gods denied them a tie in one of the most heartbreaking ways.

Brent Seabrook’s shot went post to post on the red goal line.

The red light went off, but the officials called it off. Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville wanted to challenge, but the guys upstairs did not give him “positive feedback from the headset.”

The final horn buzzed and the arena erupted. The Blues defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions in seven games.

For the first time since 2012 the winner of the Stanley Cup will not be the Los Angeles King or Chicago Blackhawks. There are also no Original Six teams left in the mix.

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