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game recap

Backes' OT goal lifts Blues in Game 1

Elliott makes 35 saves against Chicago in first playoff start since 2013

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

Backes' overtime-winner

CHI@STL, Gm1: Backes' pass deflects in for OT winner

R1, Gm1: David Backes centers a pass that deflects off Trevor van Riemsdyk's skate and past Corey Crawford, giving the Blues a 1-0 overtime win

  • 01:27 •

ST. LOUIS -- It wasn't the way David Backes drew it up, but the St. Louis Blues' captain will gladly take it.

Backes scored 9:04 into overtime to give the Blues a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series on Wednesday night at Scottrade Center.

Backes' centering feed from the lower left circle caromed off the skate of Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and went through the legs of goalie Corey Crawford to give the Blues a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. It was Backes' first playoff overtime goal.

"That's an ugly goal," Backes said. "I specialize in those and rightfully so. The first shot of the game I think for me too.

"It was a team victory. We knew it was going to take a team effort. ... We put this in perspective. It's one game, start 0-0 again on Friday and do it all over again."

Video: CHI@STL, Gm1: Elliott collects 35 saves in shutout

Crawford finished with 17 saves.

"There's [nothing] you can do about it; that was tough," Crawford said. "I kind of felt it hit the inside of my pad and from there, I was just hoping that it died. It was a tough bounce, but we've got to feel good about how we played out there."

Game 2 is Friday (8 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2, CSN-CH, FS-MW).

Blues goalie Brian Elliott made 35 saves, including seven in overtime, in his first solo Stanley Cup Playoff shutout (he shared one with Jaroslav Halak in 2012) and first playoff game since 2013.

"It's a team win first of all, and any time you shut out a team, doesn't matter how you did it, you've got to be happy with that," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "[Elliott] and Jake [Allen] have been the story of the season for us.

"For a 1-0 hockey game, it could have been 6-5. We missed a number of opportunities, they missed a number of opportunities. We didn't hit the net on a number of our quality chances, and they missed the couple open nets, especially late in the game."

Video: CHI@STL, Gm1: Crawford stones deflection off Schwartz

The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 35-18 but couldn't solve Elliott.

"Sometimes it just comes down to a bounce," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We didn't get it tonight, but what are you going to do? You can't dwell on that for too long. I think you take what you can from it and use it as a motivating factor in finding that emotion and playing better the next game. So, we'll do that and focus on the next one."

Chicago outshot St. Louis 11-4 in the first period but couldn't take advantage of three power-play opportunities, including a two-man advantage for 36 seconds.

Elliott made the best saves of the second period when he was able to keep Toews from scoring twice. The first came on a 2-on-1 break with Patrick Kane 1:38 into the period; the second was on a breakaway about 5 ½ minutes later after Blues rookie Robby Fabbri fell down with the puck on his stick in the Chicago zone.

"[Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk] didn't want to take a penalty coming back on [Toews]," Elliott said. "He just pressured him to not really be able to make a move there. I just tried to stand my ground."

Video: CHI@STL, Gm1: Ladd connects for strong hit on Brouwer

The Blackhawks limited the Blues to two shots in the third period. Elliott made the best of his eight saves when he got his blocker up to stop Artemi Panarin, who was streaking through the middle of the ice with 5:30 remaining.

"That was a good move," Elliott said. "He kind of cut across and went back cross-body. I just tried to get whatever you can in front of it."

Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd arrived in time to play after returning to Chicago to be with his wife, who was expected to deliver the couple's third child. Chicago also played without defenseman Duncan Keith, who served the last of a six-game suspension and is eligible to return for Game 2.

"We're happy to have him back," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He plays a lot in all situations, he gives us some speed, he gives us a lot of different looks and a lot of other options and some different looks in the offensive zone."

Backes returned after missing the final three regular-season games with a lower-body injury.

Video: Elliott, Backes lead Blues to OT victory in Game 1

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