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Blues 2, Kings 1 (OT)
Jonathan Quick got Los Angeles to overtime. Then last year's Stanley Cup MVP gave it away.
Alex Steen stole the puck from the unsuspecting goalie behind the net and scored a short-handed goal to give St. Louis a victory over the defending Cup champions on Tuesday.
"It's exactly what it looked like," Quick said. "I tried to make a play, he blocked it and scored."
Win, lose or embarrassed, Quick said he moves on.
"If we had won, I put it right away. If we lost like we did, I put it right away," Quick said. "It doesn't make a difference. We'll try to win Game 2."
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.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was wondering how in the world his team would deny the Kings that long this late in the game when Quick appeared to dawdle a bit handling the puck and Steen swooped in, intercepting a clearing effort and quickly sliding it home.
"I had fresh legs and I figured I'd try him," Steen said. "I just got fortunate behind the net."
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. Getting to the goalie who won the Conn Smythe Trophy with a 1.41 goals-against average and .946 save percentage made it all the sweeter.
"It's just such an emotional swing," Hitchcock said. "You're down, figuring out how to kill a four-minute power play, and then the game's over.
"You hate to say things are must wins, but hopefully we're going to gain a lot of confidence."
The Kings were 4-0 in overtime during last season's run to the Cup.
"What are you going to do, sit back and feel sorry for yourself and then cost yourself two games?" defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "You can try to learn from your mistakes, dust yourself off and try to win a game on Thursday. I'm hoping we're going to pick the latter."
Quick 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.
Blackhawks 2, Wild 1 (OT)
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.
Corey Crawford settled down after allowing a weak goal in the opening minutes. Marian Hossa also scored, and the Blackhawks took the early lead in this first-round series.
Game 2 is Friday at the United Center.
The Blackhawks finally put this one away when Johnny Oduya chipped the puck off the boards to Viktor Stalberg on the right side. Stalberg then dished it to Bickell on the two-on-one rush in front for the winner at 16:35.
Ducks 3, Red Wings 1
Teemu Selanne scored the tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period, Jonas Hiller made 21 saves, and Anaheim returned to the postseason with a victory over Detroit.
Nick Bonino also scored a power-play goal, and Francois Beauchemin added an empty-netter for the second-seeded Ducks. They hung on in the final minutes of the opener in just their second playoff series in four years.
The 42-year-old Selanne came up with yet another huge goal for the Pacific Division champions, putting a perfectly placed one-timer over Jimmy Howard's shoulder while gliding backward.
Howard stopped 24 shots and Daniel Cleary scored on a power play for the Red Wings in their 22nd consecutive postseason appearance.
Game 2 is Thursday at Honda Center.