ST. LOUIS -- Asked if his game-winning goal Saturday in the Western Conference First Round against the Chicago Blackhawks meant more than the one he scored against the Los Angeles Kings in the conference quarterfinals a year ago, St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman offered a proper perspective.
"I'll let you know at the end of the playoffs," Jackman said with a smile.
Like his goal a year ago, the goal against the Blackhawks put St. Louis up 2-0 in a best-of-7 series. But the Blues lost four straight to the Kings last year and saw their season end. They hope history doesn't repeat itself this year, and they can take a step toward that goal by beating the Blackhawks in Game 3 of their first-round series Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDSI, FS-MW, CSN-CH).
You know the saying about when "almost" counts, and it's not in horseshoes, hand grenades and hockey. "Almost" wasn't good enough for the Blackhawks to win either game at Scottrade Center. They gave up one-goal leads late in regulation in each game and wound up losing in overtime.
What do the Blackhawks have to do to get back in the series, to turn what they almost did in St. Louis into something they actually do in Chicago?
Seabrook was suspended three games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for his illegal hit on Backes with 4:51 to play in regulation of Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series on Saturday.
Backes is questionable for Game 3 and beyond. Seabrook, who leads Chicago with four points and has played more than 60 minutes through two games, definitely won't play.
Ramsay said the best way for the Blackhawks to adjust to Seabrook's loss is to put more faith in defenseman Nick Leddy, who has averaged less than 12 minutes of regulation ice time per game in the series while playing on Chicago's third defense pair with Michal Rozsival.
At 28 and in his eighth NHL season, Stastny has grown into a role as elder statesman on one of the youngest teams in the League, though he's often underappreciated by some who have expected more from a player with a $6.6 million salary.
But Stastny, whose father Peter forged a Hall of Fame career over 16 NHL seasons, has been a solid two-way player in his own right and getting the chance to shine in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four years.
CHICAGO -- With one illegal hit late in the third period Saturday, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook may have changed the fate of two teams who believe they can win the Stanley Cup this season.
He certainly changed the fate of two players who are important to their respective Cup-contending teams.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety on Sunday suspended Seabrook three games for his illegal hit on St. Louis Blues captain David Backes at 15:09 of the third period of Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series. The suspension came down approximately 22 hours after Seabrook's hit sent Backes to the dressing room early and gave the Blues the opportunity to tie the game.
NEW YORK -- Early in Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers appeared on their way to capturing a 2-0 series lead in their Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series. But as the game wore on, they struggled to capitalize on their opportunities and the Flyers made the most of their own, scoring four unanswered goals to win 4-2 and tie the series 1-1 before Game 3 on Tuesday in Philadelphia (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, MSG, CSN-PH).
It was a startling turnaround considering the Rangers led 2-0 8:22 into the game. They scored two goals on their first four shots and a power play that scored twice in their 4-1 victory in Game 1 got another goal after the Flyers began taking undisciplined penalties.
But the Rangers faltered on the man advantage after the first period, going 1-for-6 for the game.
NEW YORK -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has been suspended for three games for interference and charging against St. Louis Blues forward David Backes during Game 2 of the teams' First Round Stanley Cup Playoffs series in St. Louis on Saturday, April 19, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 15:09 of the third period. Seabrook was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for charging.
For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=606797&lang=en.
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My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.