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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alex Steen stymies Los Angeles Kings as the St. Louis Blues take a 1-0 series lead.

The first night of the Stanley Cup Playoffs did not disappoint as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night. Playoff hockey in overtime, does it get any better than that? You really can't put into words what happened in Game 1 at the Scottrade Center.

The Blues were shorthanded for four minutes as Kevin Shattenkirk served a double minor with a high sticking call. That is when Alex Steen scored the game winning goal, stealing the puck away from Jonathan Quick and wrapping it around an empty net. The Blues now have a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference quarterfinals, not a bad game for the first game of the playoffs.

The goaltenders were also the story tonight as Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott battled throughout the game. Quick was outstanding as he stopped 40 shots and he was the reason that the game didn't get out of hand as the Blues dominated with pressure.

This was the first time in a while that the Blues have defeated the Kings, their first win against Los Angeles in nine games as they were 0-7-1 dating back to last season.

Brian Elliott continued his dominance in the month of April as he improved to 12-2-0 (1-0-0 in the playoffs) stopping 28 shots tonight.

Alex Steen scored the first goal of the game for the Blues with a powerplay goal, 9:05 into the first period as Keven Shattenkirk was credited with the assist. The Blues dominated the whole entire game, but the Kings got a goal past Brian Elliott with 31 seconds left in the 3rd period, the goal coming from Justin Williams.

So, a shorthanded overtime goal to open the first game of the series between these two teams? How rare is that? Steen's historic goal is only the fourth shorthanded goal in the playoffs since 1990.

This series is going to be something. It's only game one, but the Blues have all the momentum.

The Kings and Blues resume the series Thursday night at 8:30 CT in a pivotal Game 2.