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Blues knock off champs

ST. LOUIS — Alex Steen stole the puck from goalie Jonathan Quick behind the net and scored a shorthanded goal to give the Blues a 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Western Conference series.

Steen scored unassisted on a backhander at 13:26 of overtime less than a minute after Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was whistled for a double-minor high sticking when he cut Dustin Penner.

Steen also scored on a power play in the first period for the Blues, who ended an eight-game losing streak against the team that swept them in the second round last spring.

Quick, last year's Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP, made 35 saves in regulation, keeping the Kings in it for Justin Williams' tying goal with 31.6 seconds left.

Before Steen's shocker, the Kings had been on a roll, outshooting the Blues 7-0 after coach Darryl Sutter called a timeout.

Williams' 16th career playoff goal tied it at 1, not long after Quick was pulled for an extra attacker. Goalie Brian Elliot didn't hug the post and missed with the glove.

Blackhawks open up with tight victory

CHICAGO — Bryan Bickell scored in overtime on a two-on-one rush, and the Blackhawks started the playoffs on a winning note after dominating the regular season, beating the Wild 2-1.

Corey Crawford settled down after allowing a weak goal in the opening minutes. Marian Hossa also scored, and the Blackhawks, the West's top seed, took the early lead in this first-round series.

The Blackhawks put this one away when Johnny Oduya chipped the puck off the boards up to Viktor Stalberg on the right side. Stalberg dished it to Bickell on the two-on-one rush in front for the winner at 16:35.

Big things are expected in Chicago after a spectacular regular season that included a record start and the team's first Presidents Trophy since 1991.

The Blackhawks are eyeing a run to the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years. They have been eliminated in the first round the past two seasons after beating Philadelphia for the championship in 2010.

Lightning: The team agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with prospect Nikita Nesterov. The defenseman, 20, drafted 158th overall in 2011, is expected to play next season for AHL Syracuse. Nesterov, 6 feet, 183 pounds, had one assist in 14 games this season for Chelyabinsk of Europe's Kontinental Hockey League.

Around the league: Brian Rolston, who did not play this season, retired after a 17-year NHL career. Rolston, 40, played for five teams and helped the New Jersey Devils win their first Stanley Cup in his rookie season, 1994-95. … The Predators signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a five-year, $21.25 million contract. Injuries limited Hornqvist, 26, to four goals and 10 assists in 24 games this season as Nashville had a league-low 111 goals.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.

at Blues 1 0 0 1 2
Kings 0 0 1 0 1

First Period1, St. Louis, Steen 1 (Shattenkirk), 9:05 (pp). PenaltiesQuick, LA, served by Williams (roughing), 6:47; Perron, StL (roughing), 6:47; Los Angeles bench, served by Lewis (too many men), 8:23; Richards, LA (boarding), 9:14; Jackman, StL (interference), 18:34.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesRegehr, LA (interference), 14:04; Brown, LA (tripping), 18:21.

Third Period2, Los Angeles, Williams 1 (Doughty, Muzzin), 19:28. PenaltiesWilliams, LA (tripping), 1:03. First Overtime3, St. Louis, Steen 2, 13:26 (sh). PenaltiesShattenkirk, StL, double minor (high-sticking), 12:45. Shots on GoalLos Angeles 6-7-6-10—29. St. Louis 14-10-12-6—42. Power-play opportunitiesLos Angeles 0 of 3; St. Louis 1 of 5. GoaliesLos Angeles, Quick 0-1-0 (42 shots-40 saves). St. Louis, Elliott 1-0-0 (29-28). A17,612 (19,150). T3:08. Referees—Marc Joannette, Brian Pochmara. LinesmenScott Cherrey, Brian Murphy.

at Blackhawks 0 1 0 1 2
Wild 1 0 0 0 1

First Period1, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 1 (Stoner), 4:48. PenaltiesKoivu, Min (hooking), 7:22.

Second Period2, Chicago, Hossa 1 (Kane, Keith), 2:06 (pp). PenaltiesParise, Min (goaltender interference), :11; Rozsival, Chi (hooking), 2:43; Keith, Chi (slashing), 18:04.

Third PeriodNone. PenaltiesHjalmarsson, Chi (high-sticking), 6:52. First Overtime3, Chicago, Bickell 1 (Stalberg, Oduya), 16:35. PenaltiesOduya, Chi (high-sticking), 7:34; Gilbert, Min (holding stick), 8:42. Shots on GoalMinnesota 6-7-7-7—27. Chicago 6-10-12-9—37. Power-play opportunitiesMinnesota 0 of 4; Chicago 1 of 3. GoaliesMinnesota, Harding 0-1-0 (37 shots-35 saves). Chicago, Crawford 1-0-0 (27-26). A21,428 (19,717). T3:13. Referees—Tim Peel, Brad Meier. LinesmenDarren Gibbs, Pierre Racicot.

Blues knock off champs 04/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:38am]
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