HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- After being pushed out of their element by the Los Angeles Kings en route to being swept in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a season ago, the St. Louis Blues felt like the only way to dictate the tempo in the Western Conference Quarterfinals opener between the two teams Tuesday was to initiate the contact and most importantly, push first.
The Blues, who took Game 1, 2-1 on Alexander Steen's shorthanded overtime goal, came out with an intensity that was packed with the kind of physical element that's suited for their style of play.
"I think last year they did it to us," Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves said of the 2012 sweep. "They came out, all four lines were physical. They pushed us out. We really didn't have a response for them.
"I think this year, it's got to be the opposite. We've got to come out and push them out first and then when they push back, we've got to push harder."